SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4) – Hey there Utah, happy New Year’s Eve! Yesterday kicked off an active stretch of weather that will stick around through the New Year’s Day weekend. Over the next couple of days, heavy mountain snow is expected, while in our valleys, today will bring mainly rain before colder air moving in tomorrow will likely result in rain transitioning back to snow. 

With heavy mountain snow expected, the National Weather Service has issued several Winter Storm Warnings and Winter Weather advisories across Utah. A winter storm warning is in effect for all of our mountains across the state, plus the Wasatch Back is included as well. Through Sunday night, most mountains will pick up between 1-3 feet of snow while some northern mountains, like the upper Cottonwood Canyons could get closer to 5 feet! As for the Wasatch Back, 6-12″ of snow is expected, mainly above 6000ft., and closer to 7000ft. Like Park City, totals may reach to or be above 18″! As a whole, the bulk of accumulations we’ll see over the next couple of days will be above 7000ft. 

Here is a complete breakdown of all the warnings in effect across our area.

While we see consistent heavy mountain snow, the forecast is a bit trickier in our valleys due to the warm nature of this storm. A second warm front will lift across the region today which will result in temperatures running about 5-10 degrees above average in northern Utah and about 2-5 degrees above average in southern Utah. This will result in valley rain and mountain snow today with northern Utah seeing the snow line mainly at and above 6000ft. today, while in southern Utah, it will likely be at or above 7000ft. through the day. There will likely be some breaks for spots during the first half of the day, however, by the late afternoon and evening, a cold front will begin to approach from the west. As we go into tonight and approach midnight, everyone will have a good chance of picking up some precipitation with it still mainly being valley rain and mountain snow. If you have any plans to be out and about, be sure to keep tabs on the weather and be safe on the roadways. 

From overnight tonight into Sunday, the cold front will traverse the state with much colder air moving in behind it. As the colder air moves in, it’s likely that by Sunday afternoon, the valley rain in northern Utah, including the Wasatch Front, transitions into valley snow. It will take the colder air to filter in down south, but by the afternoon we could see the rain transition to snow in places like Iron and Kane Counties. For St. George, it’s likely that this is mainly a rain event. Snow accumulations in our valleys will come down to how much moisture is left behind the cold front and how quickly the cold front moves through. At this point, most valley locations will have at least a chance of picking up an inch or two with a chance some northern valleys could see several inches if not a little more. 

With a lot more snow in the mountains expected, keep in mind that the avalanche danger is likely to remain high. Avoid backcountry areas if possible and slopes more than 30°. Also, travel in the mountains will likely become very difficult if not impossible. While our valleys won’t have the same impact, rain will lead to slick roadways. For anyone traveling be very mindful of the weather as we’ll see impacts through the weekend in Utah. For those of you headed to Pasadena for the Rose Bowl, Saturday will bring a high chance for rain in southern California with Sunday looking to be sunny. 

The chance for wet weather will gradually diminish as we go from Sunday night into Monday with maybe a few lingering snow showers in our valleys as it takes a little longer up in the mountains. Monday will be a much colder day with highs mainly in the 20s and 30s up north while it’s mainly 30s down south with a few 40s like St. George. The colder air will stick around stick around Tuesday with a slight chance for some isolated light snow showers as a weak system moves through. Wednesday looks quiet and fairly seasonal ahead of what could be another storm system coming in for the end of next week. Stay tuned! 

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