SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4) – Winter weather alerts are posted through Wednesday evening as another atmospheric river event impacts Utah.
Atmospheric rivers are relatively narrow regions in the atmosphere that are responsible for most of the transport of water vapor from the tropics. At its worst, atmospheric rivers can cause extreme events that impact travel, cause mudslides, damage property and threaten lives. Many, however, are weak, non-threatening and provide beneficial rain or high-elevation snow that is crucial to the water supply. This particular event is pulling subtropical moisture from the Pacific and funneling it into Utah.
In short, we have another day of valley rain and mountain snow ahead of us. Heavy mountain snowfall continues today, with avalanche danger on the rise and a Winter Storm Warning and Winter Weather Advisory in effect. The Winter Storm Warning impacts the Wasatch mountains south of Interstate 80 and the Western Uintas — and it means winter travel is expected, blowing snow and heavy accumulations. This area could see 12-24″ of snow with locally higher totals for the Upper Cottonwoods.
When it comes to the weather advisory, the Northern Mountains are expected to pick up 10-16″ of new snow with the Central and Southern Mountains expecting 6-12″. The Central Wasatch, Uintas, and Upper Cottonwoods can plan on 12-24″ of new snow with locally higher amounts in the Upper Cottonwoods. The Western Uinta Basin is also included in the advisory with the lower valley expecting 1-3″ while the higher valley will see 4-8″.
Snow levels will drop from 6,000-7,000 feet to the valley floor behind a cold front early Wednesday. Temperatures will likely be cold enough Wednesday morning to see rain change over to snow in the northern valleys, however, it’s unclear how much moisture will remain after the front sweeps through.
Both the Winter Storm Warning and Winter Weather Advisory remain in effect until Wednesday at 5 p.m. Quieter conditions will follow will the help of high pressure, but it does not stay quiet. The overall active pattern could usher in another storm for the latter half of the weekend.
Our weather team will provide the latest forecast here.
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