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Utah weekend forecast: Sunny, hazy and slightly warmer

Published December 9, 2011 2:43 pm

Air quality • Air inversions decreasing health of air we breathe.
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Hey, is this a warming trend? After a week of bone-chilling overnight lows, that's all a matter of perspective — and a few degrees higher up on the thermometer.

After sub-zero temperatures in several Utah locales earlier this week, northern Utah's low temperatures for early Saturday morning were expected to range in the teens to comparatively balmy low-20s. Southern Utahns expected lows before sunrise Saturday to dip, with a couple exceptions, mostly into the low- to-upper 20s.

Even that modest shift to the slightly warmer was welcome, though, after the region shook off a frigid Thursday pre-dawn where Duchesne registered a low of minus-2 degrees, Wendover 10, Cedar City and Moab 13, Provo and Logan 15, Salt Lake City and Ogden 19 and St. George 26 degrees.

Salt Lake City was to rebound to a high of 40 degrees on Saturday, after an overnight low of 20 and Friday's high of 38; Ogden looked for 38, 20 and 37, respectively; Provo 41, 21 and 40; Logan 34, 12 and 33; Wendover 31, 13 and 30; Duchesne 30, 8 and 27; Cedar City 39, 8 and 38; St. George 53, 28 and 53; and Moab 42, 18 and 42 degrees.

The forecast for both northern and southern Utah was for mostly clear, sunny skies into the weekend.

The lack of recent storm activity, however, was allowing air inversions to trap smog in the state's urban valleys. The Utah Department of Environmental Quality, after issuing "green" of health air quality ratings statewide for Friday, warned of "red" or unhealthy air quality for Weber County stretching into the weekend, while issuing "yellow" or moderate air quality for the Salt Lake City-Davis County, Cache, Utah County and Wendover areas.

Under a "red" air quality alert, drivers are urged to avoid travel and people with compromised lung function advised to avoid outdoor activity.

Meanwhile, the Utah Avalanche Center gave its "green" or low risk ratings for dangerous snow slides to all mountain monitoring districts into the weekend.

remims@sltrib.com