More poor air quality and clear skies, but a chance for a white Christmas

Utah Forecast

SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4) – Happy First Day of Winter Utah! The solstice occurred earlier this morning at 8:58 a.m. That’s when the sun’s rays were directly over the Tropic of Capricorn at 23.5° S. Today will be the shortest day of the year, but after today each day will be a little longer all the way through the Summer Solstice in June! 

Weather-wise we won’t see many changes today compared to what we had yesterday thanks to a stubborn ridge of high pressure keeping our skies mostly quiet. There will be some clouds, mainly in southern Utah, but they won’t be sticking around.

For most, we’ll see mostly sunny to partly cloudy skies, however, in our northern Utah valleys that sunshine also comes with more inversion haze. From the Salt Lake Valley northward through Cache Valley air quality is expected to be “unhealthy for sensitive groups”. It would be better to spend more time inside today than not. While Utah County and valleys in Tooele Counties are in the “moderate” category for air quality, the haze will still be noticeable.

Temperatures will remain chilly for the Wasatch Front with most topping out in the 30s with Salt Lake City getting a shade above 35. Outside of our northern Utah valleys the warming trend that started this weekend continues. Highs in the Wasatch Back like in Park City will manage the upper 30s and low 40s, Cedar City will see mid to upper 40s at 47, and St. George will reach a high of 53.

Tonight will be another cold one as temperatures drop to at or below freezing across the board. Like last night patchy fog will be possible late tonight into tomorrow morning. One of the spots likely to see fog will be on the eastern side of the Great Salt Lake like this morning on Legacy Parkway. As we move into Wednesday, the first half of the day will be a lot like today, however, from the afternoon into the evening clouds will begin to increase as the high pressure begins to ease. 

From Wednesday night into Thursday, our next storm system will be moving in from the west. This storm system will bring us the chance for some snow in the valleys early on Thursday before becoming just valley rain and mountain snow by the afternoon.

As we start to cool Thursday night into Friday the snow level looks to drop again to the valley floors with the exception in Washington County. Snow will be possible along the Wasatch Front Christmas Eve into Christmas, but the details still need to be ironed out so make sure you stay tuned! 

The takeaway is that we get more poor air quality and dry skies for now with changes looming ahead of Christmas. 

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