SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4) – Happy Tuesday Utah! Near record warmth today with a strong southerly wind, but a system will bring a big cool down and wet weather potential by Thursday.
After the warmest day since October yesterday, we’ll turn up the temperature a little bit more today! High pressure is still in control, however, as it shifts further east, we have even more of a southerly flow. That southerly flow will allow us to flirt with record highs this afternoon.
Daytime highs across the state will mainly range in the 60s and 70s outside of the mountains, but in Salt Lake, we’ll come close to hitting 80° which is also the record high for today while St. George will likely flirt with 90°! The record in St. George today is 94°. Skies today will be mostly sunny to partly cloudy across the state and it will be gusty at times with those southerly winds.
While the sunshine and warm temperatures will be pleasant, the warmth and high sun angle does cause some concerns when it comes to avalanche danger. These conditions are creating widespread areas of unstable wet snow prone to wet slides.
The Avalanche Warning for northern Utah not only has been extended through 6 a.m. Thursday, but it also has been expanded to include the Uinta’s and Skyline area mountains. This means that just about all northern mountains are included in this warning, but this warning also includes the foothills of northern Utah. Be sure to avoid and stay off slopes greater than 30 degrees and avoid avalanche runout areas.
These warming temperatures have also accelerated lower-elevation snow melt and runoff through the state. Right now, the only flood watch in our area is in northeast Nevada which is in effect through tonight. In Utah, there are no watches, warnings, or flood advisories. However, some rivers and streams over the next few days will be running high, swift, and cold.
Enhanced runoff is expected primarily in lower elevations with the possibility for mid-elevations as well. Slot canyons, especially in southern Utah, may be inundated with runoff so be sure to avoid any backcountry hazards. To prepare yourself, it is advised to clear deep snow from foundations and clear drainage paths.
Changes in our weather are right around the corner. As the high pressure continues to move east, it will open up the door to more active weather for the second half of the workweek. A weak cold front will arrive tomorrow, and this will help ease our temperatures down slightly for Wednesday as clouds increase across the state.
By Thursday, the system driving the cold front will move in. This system will bring significantly cooler temperatures and a chance for wet weather. We’ll mainly have a chance for valley rain and mountain snow with the best chance being in the northern two-thirds of the state and in eastern Utah. In northern Utah, as the colder air moves in, some snow can’t be completely ruled out in our valleys, especially in typically colder valleys like Cache.
By Thursday, daytime highs will roughly be 15-25 degrees cooler compared to what we have on Tuesday! A few lingering showers look possible on Friday, but high pressure looks to set up shop going into the weekend with temperatures set to rebound through the weekend with sunshine.