Utah forecast: Rain, snow and wind on the way
Utah's too-brief autumn took a decided turn toward winter-like weather Thursday evening as a cold front moved into the region.
The National Weather Service reported that by Thursday evening a storm that brooded all day above the Wasatch Front was dropping water. Linda Cheng, a NWS meteorologist, said parts of Salt Lake County would experience rain until late Thursday or early Friday, when it will become more localized.
"After that it will be more of a lake effect for the overnight hours," she said, explaining that residents downwind of the Great Salt Lake could see scattered showers through the night.
Snow was expected on the benches and mountains above 5,000 feet, Cheng also said. Forecasters received reports of scattered snowflakes in the mix of precipitation Thursday, but did not expect significant amounts of snow on the valley floors.
Cheng said low temperatures would dip to the mid-30s Thursday night. Friday's high was expected to reach the mid-50s and Cheng said the low would remain chilly Friday evening even as the storm moved out. Forecasters expected the storm to clear up significantly Friday afternoon.
The NWS issued a Winter Weather Advisory for northeastern Utah in the eastern Uintas north of Vernal beginning noon Thursday and running through 3 p.m. Friday. Up to half a foot of snow was expected, with winds gusting to 40 mph.
A Freeze Watch was in effect for southeastern Utah, covering the area from Green River and Moab south to Blanding and Bluff. The advisory was in effect Thursday evening through Friday morning.
Conditions are expected to be warmer and milder in southern Utah, where daytime highs Friday were to be in the 70s down about 10 degrees from Thursday's forecast. However, it was to be windy in Utah's Dixie both days, with gusts around 25-30 mph.
The Utah Division of Air Quality gave breathability its highest, "Green" rating, while the Intermountain Allergy & Asthma website had only sagebrush at "very high," and ragweed at moderate" on its pollen index.
For a third day, the NWS did not provide specific listings for city temperature predictions due to the federal government shutdown. However, the WeatherBug.com pegged Salt Lake City's high temperature Thursday at 57 degrees. Ogden saw a high of 52 degrees and Provo saw 54 degrees.