SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4) – Active weather returns to the region today as a storm system off the West Coast sends moisture into the state. This is the beginning of several storms that are lined up to impact Utah into the new year.

Wet weather has been spreading across the Beehive State in the form of valley rain and mountain snow. Winds have been whipping as well as the storm moves in with wind gusts generally to 45 mph along the Wasatch Front.  With south winds in place, temperatures were also trending very mild as highs reached the low 50s ahead of showers this morning.  Moisture will continue to spread south and east from the afternoon into the evening. 

For all of our mountains, the Wasatch Plateau/Book Cliffs, and SW Wyoming, Winter Weather Advisories are in effect today and will last through early in the morning on Thursday. By the time the advisories have expired it’s expected that most mountains in Utah will pick up between 12-18″ of snow while isolated spots, like the cottonwood canyons, could see more than two feet of snow! In SW Wyoming, roughly 3-7″ is expected. On top of the snow, winds will be gusty up to and potentially over 45 mph. 

This particular storm will be predominately valley rain and mountain snow. The snow line today is expected to begin between 7-8k ft. and will likely stay around that through the afternoon meaning places like Park City are likely to see rain and snow. As we move from Tuesday night into Wednesday the snow line will begin to fall and by Wednesday morning there’s a chance it could fall down to the valley floors in northern Utah. Some minor accumulations look to be possible in our northern Utah valleys including the Wasatch Front, but it will depend on whether the moisture holds on long enough. While snow is expected to persist in the mountains through Wednesday, moisture will become more limited throughout the day elsewhere with scattered snow showers expected.

Where the mountains will see the brunt of the storm in terms of snowfall, the valleys are expected to pick up 0.50-0.75″ if rain with some snow possible overnight into Wednesday as temperatures will finally be cold enough behind the cold front. Most of the moisture will move out of the valleys overnight behind the front with benches areas likely to pick up anywhere from a trace-4″ of snow, the valleys up north could get up to a couple inches. Temperature-wise, Wednesday will be about 5-10 degrees colder across the state compared to what we get today. Another product of the active weather will be the end of valley inversions. 

By Wednesday night the skies will begin to calm leaving us with drier conditions on Thursday with temperatures near seasonal averages. The calm won’t be sticking around though as our next storm arrives by Friday and will impact the state through the New Year’s Weekend. Even more healthy snow is expected for our mountains during this stretch, and we’ll likely see more alerts posted later in the week. In our valleys rain, snow, and a wintry mix will all be possible as lows along the Wasatch Front will be near freezing while highs will range from the mid-30s to the low 40s through Sunday. Down south it will be in the 30s and 40s outside of the high terrain while St. George hovers near 50 after today. 

Active weather may not stop there as forecast models are indicating we may carry this momentum through next week as well. Stay tuned!

The takeaway? Heavy mountain snowfall is expected through Wednesday evening with more snow in the forecast through early January. Always stay one step ahead of the weather with Utah’s Most Accurate Forecast both on-air and online!