SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4) — Soggy skies are here with valley rain and heavy mountain snow set up for the Beehive State.

Another atmospheric river, which clobbered California, is now bringing weather impacts to the Great Basin and the state of Utah. This storm is a moisture-rich system and while wet weather filled in overnight, we started to see changes Thursday evening with increasing cloud cover statewide and the southerly winds picking up. 

We are now dealing with widespread wet weather across the state. Wind Advisories for the western portion of the state, as well as Salt Lake and Tooele Counties, continue through 11 p.m. tonight. Winds of 25-35 mph are expected with gusts reaching as high as 55 mph. Areas not under a wind advisory are also seeing gusty conditions and will throughout the day. 

We have a southwest flow in place, so on top of southerly winds, warmer air will keep temperatures closer to seasonal norms this time of year. With daytime highs in the upper 40s and 50s, this will mainly be valley rain and mountain snow as the snow line will likely move a bit throughout Friday.

In the morning, the snow line near the benches is expected to climb to near or even above 7000 ft. in northern Utah. By the afternoon, the snow line will possibly get higher than 8000 ft. in central Utah and above 9000 ft. in southern Utah.

Overall, snow levels will be higher with this storm, and the further south you go, the higher the numbers get. This means in our mountain valleys including the Wasatch Back, a wintry mix to rain will be possible and if the rain is heavy enough, localized flooding can’t be ruled out given all the snow we have seen so far this winter. While it’s expected that the current snowpack will absorb the rain, you can’t rule out the chance of some minor flooding. 

Winter Storm Warnings are in effect for the high country throughout the state. Starting in the very north with the Wasatch mountains north of I-80, the warning remains in effect until 5 a.m. on Saturday. During this time, snow accumulations are expected to be in the 9-18″ range and wind gusts could top 65 mph. For the Wasatch mountains south of I-80, including the Western Uinta Mountains, the Warning begins at the same time but is to remain in place until 5 p.m. on Saturday. Snowfall could be in the 12-22″ range with some areas like the Upper Cottonwoods receiving more. 

The Eastern Uinta Mountains have a Winter Storm Warning beginning at 5 a.m. on Friday that will remain in effect until 5 a.m. on Saturday. During this 24-hour stretch, snow totals could reach up to a foot, and wind gusts could exceed 55 mph.  Also, in the eastern portion of the state, the Abajo Mountains and surrounding areas have a warning issued to begin at 11 a.m. today lasting until 8 p.m. on Saturday. There will be a lot of moisture coming through this region tonight through Saturday and the snow could also reach over a foot. 

Winter Storm Warnings are also in effect in the central and southern mountains, both areas will have warnings starting at 11 a.m. and lasting until 6 a.m. on Sunday. Both locations can expect 10-20″ of snow during this period with some local locations receiving over two feet of snow. 

A cold front tracks through Utah this afternoon, and along this front, we get peak instability, which means there is a chance of seeing some thunderstorms pop up in northern and central Utah. Behind the front, cooler air moves in and snow levels begin to dip again. By the time snow levels hit the valley floors in northern Utah, the moisture has dwindled, and we will likely see a break in the action.

The front stalls out toward central Utah into Saturday morning, and with moisture still present, we see a better chance of showers as opposed to consistent valley rain for the weekend. These showers become more scattered in nature on both Saturday and Sunday, so overall, unsettled skies remain. Also, with slightly cooler temperatures in northern Utah, the snow lines will come down a bit more, but we’re still mainly expecting rain down on our valley floors. 

We see conditions simmer statewide late Sunday through Monday with high temperatures topping out mainly in the 40s and 50s along the Wasatch Front, while southern Utah will get mainly 50s and 60s with a chance St. George hits the low 70s. This will be another brief lull in activity though, as the latest weather models hint at a similar setup and additional storm Tuesday into Wednesday next week. 

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