SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4) – Happy Wednesday, Utah! The rest of today brings strong winds and increasing wet weather potential as our next atmospheric river event gets underway!

After a lovely day yesterday, we already have our next storm knocking on our door. It’s an upper-level low pressure that is tapping into atmospheric river moisture in the Pacific. A cold front will be ahead of the storm itself and by late this afternoon through tonight it will result in wet weather spreading across the state.

In the meantime, we’ll be looking at increasing clouds, winds, and wet weather potential as the day goes on. There’s a wind advisory in place for areas west of I-15 as gusts through today could exceed 55mph. It will be windy everywhere though and even along the Wasatch Front gusts could exceed 40 mph and we’re expecting strong winds in our mountains as well. That strong southerly flow will push up our temperatures a bit more with most seeing highs near average. In northern Utah, highs will mainly range in the 40s and 50s with 50s and 60s down south. Even Salt Lake City could hit 60 this afternoon before the front moves in.

As we move into this evening the cold front will be moving through western Utah. By sundown, there will be a good chance for showers along and west of the I-15 corridor. Along and ahead of the cold front there will also be thunderstorm potential. For areas that do see thunderstorms locally heavy precipitation, strong winds, small hail, and graupel will be possible. The cold front will continue to move east as we move through tonight bringing wet weather into eastern Utah as temperatures cool down behind the front.

Even though the cold front will be moving away to the east tomorrow, the low-pressure driving everything will begin to move through and with lingering moisture, we’ll continue to see scattered showers throughout the day. It won’t be non-stop wet weather for most, but it could come in waves. Also, with the colder in place, there’s a chance we see the snow levels drop down the valley floors. This means we could see times of valley rain as well as valley snow with a chance some of our valleys could see accumulations while times of heavy mountain snow will continue.

By Friday, the low pressure moves away, however, more energy arriving from the northwest could mean that northern Utah continues to see the chance for showers through early on Friday while southern Utah looks dry. There could be commute impacts early Friday, especially with mountain routes compromised. On Thursday and Friday, we’ll be looking at temperatures once again being roughly 10-15 degrees below average with mainly 30s and 40s for daytime highs for most across the state. It will once again feel more wintery as opposed to Spring! By Friday afternoon wet weather will begin to wind down as high pressure starts to build in. 

Due to the expected snow in the mountains, there are winter alerts in effect. The northern mountains and southern mountains are included in a Winter Storm Watch that will carry through Thursday evening for the southern mountains while the watch for the northern mountains will continue through Friday evening. 12-24″ will be possible during the duration of the watch in northern Utah with locally higher amounts being possible while the southern mountains could see between 8-16″. Strong winds are also expected and could gust to or even above 70 mph. While the winter alerts don’t include the central mountain, over half a foot is in the cards. 

When it comes to accumulations from today through tomorrow valleys could receive anywhere from a trace-4″, benches and typically colder valleys like Cache Valley could see between 2-5″, mountain valleys could see between 6-12″, most mountains will likely land between 8-16″, and the Cottonwoods will likely pick up between 12-24″. 

On Saturday, we’ll get sunshine across the state as temperatures rebound to within shouting distance of seasonal norms. The first half of Sunday won’t bring many changes compared to Saturday, but from Sunday afternoon into early next week another potent storm looks poised to move in. Stay tuned!