Here’s a wet, windy and wild opening curtain for Utah’s weekend: Forecasters have declared a Winter Weather Advisory for a swath of the state running from its northeastern to its southwestern borders.
The advisory, which officially kicked in at 2 a.m. Friday, runs through 11 p.m. Saturday, and stretches from the western Uinta Mountains through the eastern Wasatch Plateau, Book Cliffs and central and southern Utah mountains to just north of St. George.
That region will be pelted with cold rain in the valleys and blowing snow along the benches and in the mountains, where up to 16 inches of the white stuff was predicted to fall. In the southern mountains, forecasters warn, snow totals could top two feet.
Winds on Saturday especially will be strong in some locales, topping 30 mph along the peaks and mountain passes.
A Winter Storm Warning is in effect for pockets of Utah just northeast of Green River and encompassing Monticello, as well as a stretch of southern Utah from Milford to Cedar City and Bryce Canyon. That advisory, predicting up to 5 inches of snow in the lower elevations and 14 inches in the mountains, was to run through 11 p.m. Saturday.
Northern Utah’s high temperatures on Saturday will be in the 40s, the same as forecast for Friday. Southern Utahns look for highs in the 50s.
The Utah Avalanche Center kept elevated risk ratings for dangerous snow slides in place for the high elevation backcountry slopes going into the weekend. The Uintas earned a "considerable" avalanche risk grade, while the rest of the state’s mountains were rated at "moderate" risk.
All that atmospheric stirring and precipitation was to keep the air clear, however. The Utah Division of Air Quality hoisted its "Green," or healthy breathability pennants throughout the state going into the weekend.
Salt Lake City’s high on Saturday was pegged at 46, up a degree from Friday’s forecast; Ogden looked for 44 degrees both days; Provo 45 and 46 degrees, respectively; Logan 40 and 38; Wendover 46 and 44; Duchesne 42 and 47; Cedar City 41 and 43; St. George 55 and 54; and Moab 47 and 53 degrees.
Copyright 2014 The Salt Lake Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.