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Utah forecast: Inversions worsen, mountains at elevated avalanche risk

First Published      Last Updated Dec 27 2013 04:28 pm

Want to escape the pollution-trapping air inversions of northern Utah's urban valleys this weekend? You could trek to the easier breathing of the state's mountains.

But if you do, the Utah Avalanche Center warns that the danger of potentially deadly backcountry snowslides will be elevated. Indeed, forecasters issued a Special Avalanche Advisory for the northern Wasatch Front and its sister peaks, especially for their steep west-to-north-to-east-facing slopes.

Strong valley inversions continued, prompting mandatory air action directives — including bans on solid-fuel burning device use, along with outdoor open burning of any kind, restricted automobile travel and requests that industries minimize emissions — in Salt Lake, Cache and Davis counties.

The elderly, very young and people with compromised lung function were advised to avoid prolonged outdoor activity.

With the exception of Tooele and Washington counties, which were graded "green" or healthy, the state's air quality rating this weekend was in the "yellow," or compromised category.

A weak storm system was expected to move into the region over the weekend, but initial indications were that it would bring little, or no snow — and little relief from the dirty valley air.

The Wasatch Front looked for highs Saturday in the low-30s under partly cloudy skies, a few degrees warmer than Friday's forecast. Overnight lows were to range in the upper-teens.

Southern Utahns expected highs in the low- to mid-50s, also under partly cloudy skies, with overnight lows in the upper-20s.

For more detailed forecast information visit the Tribune's weather page at www.sltrib.com/weather.


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