SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4) — Happy Thursday or happy Friday eve, Utah! After a fairly calm start to the day today, it won’t end that way as our next storm moves in from this afternoon through the first half of Friday. As we go through the afternoon, valley rain and mountain snow will spread across the state and by this evening everyone in Utah will have a decent chance of picking up some wet weather. Given the southerly flow ahead of the storm, we’re warming up more compared to averages which could result in the snowline this afternoon climbing to around 6500.
While this storm won’t be as intense as the one from the New Year’s Weekend, we’ll still see times of heavy, wet, and dense snow in our mountains which will keep the avalanche risk in backcountry areas elevated.
Due to more snow expected in our mountains, there are Winter Storm Warnings in effect from our southern mountains to our northern mountains including the Wasatch Plateau and Book Cliffs. The warning for the southern mountains will be in effect through 5 a.m. Friday while the one for the central and northern mountains will continue through 2 p.m. Friday.
Through the duration of the warnings, 6-12″ of snow is expected in our southern mountains with isolated amounts up to 15″ being possible for the Pine Valleys and Brian Head. For our central and northern mountains, 10-15″ of snow is expected with isolated amounts up to 20″ being possible for the Ogden area mountains and the cottonwood canyons. Winter driving conditions are expected along with strong winds at times.
The valley rain and mountain snow will continue through tonight as the cold front works in. From the overnight into the morning hours on Friday with colder air moving in, the valley rain could become valley snow in the central and northern half of the state depending on how long the moisture sticks around. There will be at least a chance we could see some accumulations in our northern valleys including the Wasatch Front which could lead to some slippery conditions for the Friday morning commute.
In general, valleys will see either rain-2″ but if the changeover occurs early with plenty of moisture being present, up to 4″ will be possible. Benches could see 2-4″ with isolated up to 6″, mountain valleys will likely come in between 2-6″ with valleys at and above 7000ft. like Park City receiving possibly up to 8″-10″. Again, mountains will generally receive between 6-12″ with isolated amounts up to 15-20″.
Moisture will gradually exit through the day on Friday leaving us with a dry and fairly seasonal Saturday and a slight chance of an isolated mountain snow shower for Sunday. Our active pattern looks to stay in control with a couple more systems moving our way through the first half of next week. At this point, that could mean more valley rain and mountain snow, so stay tuned!
Bottom line? Valley rain and mountain snow will spread across the state from this afternoon into tonight.