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Utah forecast: Cold, icy and polluted — then relief

Published January 25, 2013 10:21 am

Weather • Sunday snowstorm expected to clear the air, warm temperatures.
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2013, and information in the article may be outdated.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.

Another cold, icy and polluted forecast for northern Utah going into this weekend — but a Sunday storm is expected to bring some relief on all counts.

The Wasatch Front looked for high temperatures Friday just above freezing with early Saturday morning's lows in the upper-20s before Saturday daytime highs in the upper-30s. Sunday will bring daytime rainfall and highs around 40 degrees, and Sunday evening a snowstorm is expected to freshen the region with a fresh blanket of white.

That late weekend storm activity is expected, finally, to break the weeks-long inversion that has trapped automobile exhaust and industrial particulates in the urban valleys. Before that happened, though, the Utah Division of Air Quality graded breathability in the "Red," or unhealthy category for the entire Wasatch Front through Saturday.

In the aftermath of freezing rain that caused hundreds of highway crashes and slideoffs and closed Salt Lake City International Airport for several hours Thursday, a few non-injury accidents were reported Friday morning on road surfaces generally salted and cleared of ice.

"It's been quiet today," Utah Highway Patrol Cpl. Todd Johnson said with an audible sigh. "We've only had a handful of [calls] and mostly traffic stops otherwise."

However, the Davis and Weber school districts began Friday by delaying the start of classes two hours; Davis also cancelled afternoon kindergarten classes due to icy roads. Similar weather-related late starts were announced by Legacy Preparatory Academy and the Utah Schools for the Deaf and Blind. Other schools were opening on time.

Southern Utahns looked for a relatively balmy weekend with a mix of rain and sunshine and high temperatures in the mid-50s. Overnight lows were to dip about 10 degrees below those highs.

The Utah Avalanche Center ranked the Logan, Ogden, Salt Lake and Provo area mountains at "considerable" risk for dangerous snow slides on Friday. The Uintas earned a "moderate" grade and Skyline got a "low" risk rating. Saturday's preliminary rankings found Salt Lake, Ogden, Provo and Logan districts at "moderate" avalanche risk.

Salt Lake City's high Friday was pegged at 36 degrees, followed by an overnight low of 26 and a daytime high Saturday forecast at 37 degrees; Ogden looked for 34,25 and 35 degrees, respectively; Provo 41, 25 and 42; Logan 34, 23 and 35; Wendover 30, 24 and 31; Duchesne 27, 16 and 29; Cedar City 48, 30 and 46; St. George 56, 42 and 55; and Moab 37, 28 and 37 degrees.

remims@sltrib.com