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Weather: Snow will taper off Saturday night — but more is on its way

Published December 21, 2013 9:39 pm

Weather • Not much accumulation likely, but air quality expected to improve.
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2013, and information in the article may be outdated.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.

Snowfall slowed Saturday as the latest winter storm moved through Utah, with predictions it would dissipate by the evening hours.

In the storm's aftermath, the state will see clear, pollution-free skies and slightly warmer temperatures — but not for long. Another storm is on its way, forecasted to hit Utah by Monday evening.

"We're expecting another weak storm Monday night into Tuesday coming from the northwest," National Weather Service forecaster Nanette Hosenfeld said. "It won't be too significant as far as accumulation."

About half an inch coated the Salt Lake Valley overnight, Hosenfeld said Saturday morning, with up to 2 inches in the northernmost parts of the state.

As snow continued to roll over the state, the Utah Division of Air Quality rated the air's breathability in the "yellow," or moderate range for most monitoring districts Saturday. According to its rating system, moderate conditions mean that "highly-sensitive people" — primarily those with lung-related health conditions — should consider limiting time spent breathing outdoor air.

By Sunday, the Division of Air Quality expected many areas to go "green," wherein the risk of air pollution is little to none. The air quality was expected to remain in the breathable range through Christmas, with some haze possible by week's end.

"Benefit of the storm is definitely that it gives way to better air quality," Hosenfeld said. "That's good news for sure."

Temperatures were expected to hold stead in the high-20s to low-30s throughout the day in most parts of the state, according to the NWS, with the exception of St. George, where temperatures could hit the mid-40s.

A winter weather advisory issued Friday remained in effect until 9 p.m. Saturday for roughly the northern third of Utah, which warned of snowfall and poor driving conditions.

Several morning accidents dotted the highways throughout the state, with slushy conditions and snow banks lining roadsides, according to the Utah Department of Transportation.

UDOT advised motorists to go slow and be mindful of snow through Saturday, with slush likely to give way to ice overnight into Sunday morning.

Continued high-elevation precipitation after Thursday's blast of snow led the Utah Avalanche Center to elevate its warning of potentially deadly backcountry snowslides from "considerable" to "high" in the mountains of Ogden, Provo, Salt Lake County, Logan and the Uintas.

"Today's avalanches will break deep and wide, creating an unmanageable and dangerous slide," the organization warned, advising people keep to low-elevation terrain.

Skyline slopes were graded at "considerable," while Moab areas held steady with "moderate" avalanche ratings.

mlang@sltrib.com

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