SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4) — Happy Thursday, or happy Friday eve Utah! Scattered showers continue through today with a cold front set to arrive tonight, giving a good chance for valley snow on Friday! All this constant snow has led to record snowpack numbers.
The statewide average snow water equivalent (SWE) is sitting at 25.9″. SWE is simply how much moisture would be left over if you were to melt down all the snow. The highest SWE we have seen across the state was in 1983 when it got to 26″. That means we’re only a tenth of an inch away and with more snow in the forecast, there’s a good chance we break that record.
For perspective we got to 26″ in 1983 in the month of April so we’re well ahead of schedule. Also, to add to that, the median peak since 1980 is 15.8″ and last year our snowpack only peaked at 12″! It really has been an unprecedented year.
What to expect from the upcoming storm
Our string of unsettled weather continues today as we have a system currently moving through and we have another storm on the way! Through the daytime, we’ll see scattered showers across the state with mainly valley rain and mountain snow, however, snow is possible in our typical colder valleys.
The snow levels will generally range between 5,000-6,000 feet through most of the day but may climb to over 6000 feet during the heart of the afternoon during peak warming. Not everyone will see wet weather, but some will see multiple rounds of wet weather. There’s also thunderstorm potential as well.
Outside of any wet weather skies will be partly to mostly cloudy with highs in the 30s and 40s for most with southernmost Utah seeing some 50s.
Into tonight the chance for wet weather will increase even for the northern and central portions of the state as a cold front dives in from the northwest. With even colder air set to move in, there is a decent chance that we see exclusively valley snow by tomorrow morning through tomorrow with a chance we could see some accumulations, even along the Wasatch Front. This will be more of a traditional storm so the best chance for wet weather will be generally north of I-70, however, a few snow showers may stretch as far south as Cedar City.
In St. George, the chance for wet weather will be low, but it will be better than zero, especially when the front moves through. Daytime highs will come down by roughly 3-5 degrees compared to today, and with a northwesterly flow, it will make it feel even colder.
The best chance for snow will be when the front moves during the morning through the early afternoon. The chance goes down slightly by the second half of tomorrow, but we’ll likely continue to see scattered snow showers through tomorrow night, and as the moisture lingers, we could continue to see snow showers in northern Utah through the weekend with a slightly better chance on Saturday compared to Sunday.
Temperatures will come down even more and through the weekend we likely won’t break 40 along the Wasatch Front while St. George struggles to get to 50! That’s roughly 15-20 degrees below average.
When it comes to expected snow totals in central and northern Utah through Saturday we will generally likely see 1-5″ for our valleys, benches and Cache Valley could see between 3-8″, mountain valleys including the Wasatch Back could end up with 4-12″, most mountains in northern and central Utah will see between 6-18″, and the cottonwoods could see 10-24″. In most of these cases, locally higher and lower amounts will be possible. Southern mountains could see a few inches to possibly half a foot while Cedar City and Beaver could pick up an inch or two depending on the moisture.
By Sunday afternoon into early next week, the moisture will exit resulting in calmer conditions across the state as temperatures try to moderate. Monday will bring mostly sunny skies across the state with highs roughly 5 degrees warmer than the weekend. Temperatures will climb even more on Tuesday and could get within 5-10 degrees of our averages; however, clouds will begin to increase because our next storm could arrive by the middle of next week. Stay tuned!
Stay up to date with the record levels of SWE here: https://twitter.com/ThomasGeboyWX/status/1638983498961936384
We also continue to make progress on our drought situation. Here’s the latest update: https://twitter.com/ThomasGeboyWX/status/1638913843790512132
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