SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4) – With the major storm set to hit most of Utah tomorrow and lasting into Thursday, the National Weather Services has issued several weather warnings to alert the public.
This storm has the potential to be the biggest of the season and everyone is advised to take care as it comes through.
The first group of warnings we’ll hit on here are for the wind. It will be breezy across much of the state starting Tuesday afternoon, but it will be really blowing in the southern half of the state.
Starting at 2 p.m. tomorrow, we will have High Wind Warnings for much of the southern region. Winds are expected to reach 30 -50 mph with gusts up to 70 mph. At the moment, Washington County is only under a High Wind Watch, but winds could still be very powerful there.
In the southeast portion of the state, we’re looking at multiple wind advisories. This is set to go into effect at 1 a.m. Wednesday, and winds could reach 35 mph with gusts up to 55 mph. All of these wind warnings are set to remain in place until Wednesday afternoon.
The other big warnings will revolve around the snow and winter weather. There are several listed and all have different starting times, but know that it all leads to a very strong storm across the state with a lot of snow falling Tuesday and Wednesday.
The first warning to go into effect will begin tonight at 11 p.m. and will continue through 2 a.m. on Thursday. This is for the Wasatch Mountains north of I-80. During the duration of this warning, 2-3 ft. of snow is expected, but we could see isolated higher totals in the Bear River Range and Ogden Area Mountains.
From 11 a.m. Tuesday through 11 p.m. Wednesday, a Winter Storm Warning will be in effect for Eastern Box Elder County, Cache Valley, and Bear Lake & the Bear River Valley. During the duration of the warning, 4-8″ is expected for valley floors, up to 12″ for the benches, and 6-12″ is expected for Bear Lake and Bear River Valley.
From 2 p.m. Tuesday through 5 a.m. Thursday, a Winter Storm Warning will be in effect for the Wasatch Mountains south of I-80, the western Uintas, and the Wasatch Back. For the mountains within this warning, 2-3 ft. of snow is expected with locally up to 40″ for the Upper Cottonwoods. For the Wasatch Back 1-2 ft. of snow will be possible.
From 5 p.m. Tuesday through 11 p.m. Wednesday, Winter Storm Warnings will be in effect for the Wasatch Plateau/Book Cliffs, the Central Mountains, the entire Wasatch Front, Tooele & Rush Valleys and southwestern Wyoming. 1-2 ft. of snow is expected during these warnings for the Wasatch Plateau and Book Cliffs and Central Mountains. For the Wasatch Front and other valleys within this warning, 6-12″ is expected with up to 15″ possible for the benches.
Starting at 11 p.m. Tuesday through 11 p.m. Wednesday, a Winter Storm Warning will be in effect for the southern mountains where 10-18″ of snow is expected. We also could see wind gusts as high as 75 mph. During that same time frame, a Winter Storm Warning will be in effect for the western Uinta Basin, Millard and Juab Counties, and the Sanpete Valley. Within these areas, 4-10″ of snow is expected.
The final Winter Storm Warning is for southwestern Utah. This will begin at 2 a.m. Wednesday and will continue through 11 p.m. Wednesday. 4-8″ of snow is expected and gusts as high as 60mph will be possible.
In Utah, we also have 2 winter weather advisories that will go into effect tomorrow. The first is for Castle Country which will run from 5 p.m. Tuesday through 5 p.m. Wednesday. 2-5″ of snow is expected. The second is for the Great Salt Lake Desert and Mountains that will go from 11 a.m. Tuesday through 8 p.m. Wednesday. 2-6″ of snow is expected.
In eastern Utah, multiple Winter Storm Watches will go into effect tomorrow and will continue through Wednesday night. These areas include the Eastern Uinta Basin, the Eastern Uinta Mountains, and east central and southeast Utah. Within the eastern Uinta Basin, 6-12″ of snow will be possible while 10-20″ will be possible for other areas within the Watches.
We are now getting to the point where most high-resolution forecast models can see the duration of this storm. At this point it looks like our northern valleys will see 6-12″, benches 8-14″, mountain valleys 10-20″, northern mountains 12-36″, the Cottonwoods 24-40″, Central and Southern Valleys 5-10″, Central and Southern Mountains 12-24″, and St. George could see straight rain while up to 3″ of snow can’t be ruled out. As we continue to get in new batches of data, we’ll continue to fine-tune this forecast so make sure you stay tuned.
Either way, significant snow totals are expected with this storm. UDOT has issued a road weather alert starting tomorrow and will continue through Wednesday night. High travel impacts are expected along almost the entire I-15 corridor while just about all of the state could see moderate impacts which include times of road slush. In northern Utah, the worst travel times will likely be for the Tuesday evening and Wednesday morning commute while the worst times down south will be throughout Wednesday. If you have to be out on the roads during these times, plan ahead as travel could become treacherous and in the high country could become impossible.