Utah forecast: Winter storm, avalanche warnings
Heavy snowfall • Mountains of state due significant new precipitation.
Published: December 18, 2012 12:27PM
Updated: December 19, 2012 05:10PM

Steady, occasionally heavy snowfall prompted the Utah Avalanche Center to issue a warning for dangerous backcountry snowslides in northern Utah’s mountains.

The alert, issued Tuesday, is effective through the end of the week. Avalanche watchers warned that the new snow of the past couple days, coupled with strong winds along the peaks, had weakened the underlying, older snow layers on mountain slopes.

The warning did not apply to ski areas or mountain highways where avalanche control work is regularly done.

The National Weather Service issued winter storm warnings and watches covering most of the state. The winter storm warning included the Wasatch Mountains south of Interstate 80, the western Uinta Mountains, the Wasatch Plateau and southeastern Utah’s Book Cliffs regions.

Heavy snowfall was expected in those areas through late Wednesday morning, with 10-20 inches of new snow predicted.

The winter weather advisory, also in effect through late Wednesday morning, covered the Price area running south to near Lake Powell and near Kanab, as well as Zion National Park and eastern Utah’s Duchesne County. Snow accumulations of up to 8 inches or more were expected.

The Utah Division of Air Quality, meanwhile, rated breathability statewide at “Green,” or healthy.

Salt Lake City’s high temperature for Wednesday was pegged at 29 degrees, down from Tuesday’s forecast for 34; Ogden expected 27 and 31 degrees, respectively; Provo 28 and 36; Logan 25 and 29; Wendover 26 and 27; Duchesne 23 and 32; Cedar City 36 and 39; St. George 39 and 49; and Moab 32 and 39 degrees.

remims@sltrib.com