SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4) – Happy Wednesday, Utah! Atmospheric river moisture combined with a cold front brings widespread wet weather to Utah today along with flooding concerns down south.
It’s going to be another active day across the state. We have plenty of moisture in place thanks to the atmospheric river. and a cold front moving through will be the emphasis for wet weather. Temperatures will run cooler than yesterday with most in northern Utah already having to see their highs before the front moved through this morning. Down south highs will range in the 40s and 50s.
In northern Utah, valley rain and mountain snow continue for the morning and afternoon for some locations, and snow levels are gradually falling and will eventually fall as colder air works its way back behind a cold front. By Wednesday night, the snow level in northern Utah could drop back down to the benches between 5500 – 6000 feet. Overall, we will see valley rain and mountain snow, but if the moisture lingers behind the front there is a chance that some benches and typically colder valleys like Cache Valley, could see some mixed precipitation, or some sloppy wet snow.
The best chance for wet weather this afternoon into tonight will be in central and southern Utah, especially along and ahead of the cold front where some thunderstorms also can’t be ruled out. Like northern Utah, this is likely to be valley rain and mountain snow. In the southernmost portion of the state, an abundance of moisture will lead to flooding concerns. There are multiple flood advisories currently in effect from Washington to Kane County, including portions of Garfield County.
Our winter alerts for the mountains remain in effect. A Winter Storm Warning set for southern Utah mountains including Brian Head and Alton remains in place until 6 a.m. Thursday. 8-24″ of snow accumulations are expected mainly above 8000 ft. Below that accumulations will be significantly lower. Winter travel conditions will be made trickier with strong winds. The southeastern mountains in the La Sal and Abajo Mountains (including the city of Monticello) will be included in a Winter Storm Warning that will run through midnight. 8-16″ of snow will be possible above 8,000 ft. and gusts over 50 mph will also be possible.
The Winter Storm Warning for the Wasatch Mountains and Western Uintas continues through 9 p.m. Thursday. 8-24″ of snow will be possible with over 2 feet being in the realm of possibility for the upper Cottonwoods. Like the warning for the southern mountains, strong winds are expected. Snow totals will be slightly less for the central Utah mountains. As a result, a Winter Weather Advisory has been issued for the area that also continues through 9 p.m. In general, above 7,500 feet, 6-12″ of snow is expected including the Wasatch Plateau, Book Cliffs, and cities like Scofield. The eastern Uintas are also included in an advisory that will run from 6 p.m. this evening through 6 p.m. Wednesday. Above 8,000 feet 6-12″ will be possible.
While our mountains will see the healthiest snow totals, you can’t rule out the chance of mountain valleys picking up some snow. Mountain valleys are likely to see 1-6″ with possibly up to 8″ around Park City, but in both cases, times of straight rain will be possible given the higher snow levels. On the benches and typically colder valleys like Cache in northern Utah a trace-3″ looks possible, if the moisture holds on long enough. For our valleys rain is most likely, however, if the moisture lingers as the colder air moves in, minor accumulations can’t be ruled out between late Wednesday and early Thursday.
As the cold front moves through, we will see precipitation taper off from North to South. A few isolated showers will hang on for the high country through Thursday morning and in southern Utah. By Thursday afternoon, skies will dry out across the board. We’ll close out the workweek with daytime highs about 5-10 degrees below average. We will get sunshine for our St. Patrick’s Day though! Temperatures won’t move much this weekend, but we could see some more active weather with some hit-or-miss wet weather potential before even more active weather next week with a chance we see another strong statewide storm by the middle of next week. Stay tuned!
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