SALT LAKE CITY (ABC 4) – Happy Thursday, Utah! We have changes on deck for the state as an organized cold front takes aim at Utah today.  The front will open the door for significantly cooler air to move into the state, so temperatures will run about 10 degrees cooler in northern Utah, but it won’t be until Friday when the cool air is felt down south.

Temperatures will come down considerably once the cold front moves through. Temperatures warm up before the front comes through, so we expect the 60s and 70s in the Northern half of the state, while the heat hangs on in the southern half with 90s expected in St. George and plenty of 80s in Central and Southern Utah. 

This front is also triggering strong, gusty winds statewide. Gusty, westerly winds will blow dust, which could impact travel with crosswinds and limit visibility at times. We will see widespread gusts over 30 mph with gusts up to 50 mph where wind advisories are posted for areas including Northwest Utah, Utah Valley, Castle Country, the Uinta Basin, near Moab, and around Flaming Gorge.  Stronger winds could deliver gusts over 60 mph in SW Wyoming and in the Uinta Basin, where a High Wind Warning is in effect through tonight.

The increased winds combined with low humidity and dry conditions today will result in a critical fire risk for all of southernmost Utah. A Red Flag Warning is posted for parts of all of southern Utah, all the way up to Castle Country.

Avoid outdoor burning for the next couple of days if you can. The Red Flag Warning for lower Washington County including St. George and Zion NP continues through Friday while the other warnings expire tonight. 

In the northern half of the state from late Thursday into Friday there will be wet weather potential with a slight chance of an isolated shower/storm in the afternoon and evening today, and morning for tomorrow. Precipitation is not the biggest strong point with this system, the cooler air tops the chart as the weather headline.

We can’t rule out a few isolated afternoon showers, and this possibility holds on through Friday. On Friday even though it will be cooler, there will be thunderstorm potential from the afternoon into the evening.

The other big talking point of all these changes will be the temperatures. Tonight will turn chilly for everyone except for southern Utah. We have a Hard Freeze Warning that will go into effect for Bear Lake and the Bear River Valley along the Wasatch Back while a Hard Freeze Watch will go into effect for the Sanpete Valley. Lows tonight and tomorrow night could drop to 25° in these areas, so gardeners take note!

Logan could also drop close to freezing while the Wasatch Front will see lows from the mid-30s to around 40 the next couple of nights and some patchy frost does look possible. Highs on Friday will only manage the upper 50s along the Wasatch Front Friday while the highs come back down to the upper 70s in St. George. 

By Saturday afternoon we’ll start to see our temperatures moderate a bit, but we stay relatively cool through Sunday with lingering moisture potential in the higher elevations Saturday in northern Utah. By Tuesday it will be seasonal before warming up even more into midweek. 

Bottom line? A day of weather changes with a cold front, whipping winds, fire danger, and the chance of some wet weather!

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