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Monday felt like spring, but more snow coming

Published March 5, 2012 6:53 pm

Weather • Avalanche risk high in most of Utah's mountains.
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2012, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

If you didn't break out the shorts and flip flops Monday, when the temperature skipped to 64 in Salt Lake City, you missed your chance — until the weekend.

Tuesday will dawn to south winds ahead of an approaching cold front, according to the forecast from the National Weather Service. Rain showers should develop in northern Utah valleys by late morning, said meteorologist Mike Conger.

Winds will be strongest in western valleys from Juab County south. The weather service has issued a high-wind watch through Tuesday evening for the southern half of the state. Gusts of 55 mph are possible.

Northern Utah will see winds shift to the north as the cold front arrives. Northern Utah valleys can expect snow late Tuesday. But accumulations should not be significant.

"Tuesday night will be the best threat of snow," Conger said. "It will be just enough to cover everything [in the valley]."

Temperatures will remain warm enough to keep most roads from becoming icy, he said.

But not warm like Monday, which flirted with the record for the date of 68 degrees. The average high for March 5 is 49.

Tuesday's high could reach the mid 50s in Salt Lake City before the front arrives. By Wednesday morning, the mercury will drop to 30, according to the forecast. Wednesday should become partly cloudy in northern Utah with a high of 43.

High temperatures are expected to rebound into the mid 50s by Friday as a high pressure system builds for the weekend.

The brunt of Tuesday evening's storm will hit central and southern mountains, Conger said. Tuesday night, snow will lower to 5,900 feet in Washington County.

Wednesday's high in St. George will reach only 48, a significant drop from the 70s of Sunday and Monday. The average high for this time of year is 65 in St. George.

The warm, wet weather also continues the risk of avalanches, which killed one person over the weekend and buried another three. The Utah Avalanche Center has rated most mountains at considerable risk, with the Logan mountains still registering at high risk.

"Quite dangerous conditions in the backcountry still exist," the center warns.

For more information on backcountry conditions, visit http://www.utahavalanchecenter.org.

csmart@sltrib.com

Tribune reporter Sheena McFarland contributed to this story.