Possibility of freezing rain could mean tricky Thursday travel


SALT LAKE CITY, Utah- (ABC 4 News) – Fog, smog and now the chance for freezing rain. Drivers are facing tricky travel conditions heading into Thursday morning.

Dirty air has made its presence known since inversion started building over the weekend. A steady decline in air quality landed many counties in the “Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups” category throughout the week and again Wednesday. Wet weather brought rain to southern Utah and snow to the Central and Southern mountains.

Heading into Thursday morning, a winter weather advisory is in effect for Northern Utah all the way down to Salt Lake and Tooele County.
We do have the potential to see some travel impacts due to the possibility of freezing rain for Cache Valley and areas I-80 west of Tooele this will make roadways very icy and slick. Meanwhile, the Wasatch mountains could see 3 to 6 inches of snow making travel more difficult in the Cottonwoods and along mountain passes.

So what is freezing rain? Well, precipitation always falls from clouds as snow before reaching different layers of cold or warm temperatures.For freezing rain, precipitation begins as snow, reaches a warm temperature layer in the atmosphere, transitions to rain, then freezes upon contact with area roads due to colder surface temperatures than the air temperature above it. It can be very dangerous for drivers.The rain will freeze on contact and at times, won’t appear any different. It’s difficult to decipher icy spots, but expect elevated roads like bridges and overpasses to easily ice over.

The wet weather will clear by the late morning, and unfortunately, this storm will not clear our dirty air. Poor air quality is expected to linger until our next storm this weekend. For the latest forecast, stay with the Pinpoint Weather Team.

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