OK, let’s not call it “Snowpocalypse.” But Utah is in for a major winter storm as it moves toward the weekend.
As a fresh cold front barreled into the region, the National Weather Service issued a winter weather advisory beginning Thursday morning and running into late Friday morning for the north-central portion of the state on both sides of the Wasatch Front.
In the mountains north of Interstate 80, forecasters predicted 8-16 inches of new snow — and up to 2 feet at elevations at 8,500 feet and higher. Rain, turning to snow overnight, was expected in the region’s valleys. Worsening driving conditions in the area’s passes were expectations of ridge winds of up to 70 mph at times.
The winter weather advisory for the Wasatch Mountain and Ogden valleys, and the communities of Huntsville, Park City and Heber City, anticipated 4-8 inches of snow. Meanwhile, the Wasatch Range south of I-80 and extending east into the Uinta Mountains, was expected to bring 6-14 inches by late Friday morning.
For the first time this week, however, the Utah Avalanche Center lowered some snow slide risk rankings. While Logan and Ogden mountain slopes remained at “red” or high risk for avalanches, the western Unitas, Salt Lake City, Provo and Moab districts were downgraded to “orange” or considerable risk.
Southern Utah was forecast to escape the storm’s fury with high temperatures of 50-60 degrees under partly cloudy skies.
Air quality statewide earned a “green” or healthy grade going into the weekend.
Salt Lake City was expected to reach a high temperature of 37 degrees Friday, down markedly from the 50-degree forecast for Thursday; Ogden was pegged at 34 degrees, after Thursday’s 49-degree prognostication; Provo 39 and 52; Logan 32 and 44; Wendover 34 and 50; Duchesne 34 and 40; Cedar City 40 and 54; St. George 44 and 61; and Moab 48 and 51 degrees.