SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4) — High pressure is in control and today we get a slight shift in the ridge from our west to our east, so winds become more southerly. Highs will get closer to our seasonal norms with northern Utah seeing more 30s and even 40s while southern Utah will see more 40s and 50s. Skies will remain mostly sunny, but with calm conditions. We will see some building haze in the Northern Utah valleys. Moderate air quality is forecast to return to counties along the Wasatch Front, Box Elder County, Tooele County, Uintah County, and Duchesne County. 

We will also stay dry today, but in dry and drought news, the state has made major progress this week when it comes to the drought monitor. Active conditions and wet weather resulted in major gains for parts of Utah. Our drought monitor has five categories: dry, moderate, severe, extreme, and exceptional drought rankings. Last week in Utah, 19% of the state was battling extreme drought and now, that number is down to four percent! We also saw severe drought significant drop from 74% to 53%, which is tremendous progress. Our active pattern benefits our snowpack and river basins, so we want storms to keep moving through the state!

When do we see moisture next? Well, for the weekend, we’ll see similar temperatures from Friday carry over into Saturday, but a splitting system will be close enough to bring us more clouds and increased winds. Dry conditions will stick around, and unfortunately, haze may turn to smog as we make it through the weekend. Air quality impacts are forecasted by the Department of Environmental Quality through Monday. We will see some light mixing over the weekend, but this splitting storm drops into the desert Southwest this weekend and brings only a slight chance of moisture to the Four Corners area. By Sunday with winds becoming more northerly again behind the splitting system, daytime highs will slightly cool. Overall, the weather is expected to stay quiet as we start next week, but forecast models remain optimistic we’ll see a potent storm system move our way Valentine’s Day on Tuesday into Wednesday. At this point, widespread wet weather looks possible and with colder air set to move in, we could see valley snow to go along with mountain snow. 

Bottom Line? Temperatures rebound for our Friday close to average with plenty of sunshine, but inversion starts to return.

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