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Utah forecast: Bitter cold and smoggy, but relief on the way

Published January 4, 2013 12:07 pm

Late weekend storm • Snowfall, warmer temperatures may be on the way.
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2013, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Utah's weekend forecast? Think of the time loop theme in the movie "Groundhog Day," and add one flash-frozen rodent.

Saturday's Wasatch Front weather will be just like Friday's, which was just like Thursday's, and Wednesday's. . . .You get the idea.

It's cold — with at least subfreezing temperatures in most northern Utah locales and subzero in more than a few. Meantime, air quality is once again rotten as the winter inversion traps worsening levels of the region's hydrocarbon flatulence within the urban valleys.

Bundle up and breath as little as possible and you'll probably make it.

The Utah Division of Air Quality declared "Red," or unhealthy air alerts for Salt Lake, Davis, Cache, Utah and Weber counties for Friday and Saturday; Box Elder and Tooele earned only marginally better "Yellow," or compromised breathability grades; and Duchesne County got the only "Green," or satisfactory air quality rating going into the weekend.

However, overnight lows early Saturday were expected to dip to -12 in Duchesne, along with -9 in Randolph, -8 in Bryce Canyon, -7 in Logan, -4 in Heber and -1 in Brigham City and Moab. That is a shivering trend that has been prevalent throughout the week.

It's not all bad climatological news this weekend, though. The National Weather Service predicts a storm system out of the Pacific Northwest should arrive over northern Utah late Sunday and early Monday, bringing snowfall and atmospheric mixing that could break up the hated inversion. Temperatures, too, could warm a bit.

First, however, Utahns must get through Saturday. Salt Lake City's high temperature was expected to crawl up to 27 degrees after an overnight low of 10, with Friday's high forecast at a mere 24; Ogdenites looked for 25, 8 and 20, respectively; Provo 25, 5 and 20; Logan 15, -7 and 9; Wendover 14, 2 and 13; Cedar City 34, 0 and 26; St. George 48, 25 and 47; and Moab 23, -1 and 20 degrees.

One more bit of better news: the Utah Avalanche Center lowered its Saturday risk ratings for dangerous backcountry snow slides to "low" for the mountains near Salt Lake, Ogden and Provo. The mountains near Logan, however, remained at "moderate" risk for avalanches.

remims@sltrib.com