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Utah forecast: Easier breathing ahead as storm to break up inversions

Published January 3, 2014 1:31 pm

Freshening trend • Not much snow, but cold air aloft will improve air quality below.
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2014, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

There may not be much new snow for Utah skiers to grin about this weekend, but at least the rest of us in the inversion-plagued valleys of Wasatch Front will be able to breathe more freely.

Wafting in from the Pacific Northwest, a weak storm system was expected to roll in with a cold front beginning Friday night. That will break up the pollution that has shrouded the state's urban valleys since before Christmas, bringing with it "red," or unhealthy air quality.

By Saturday afternoon, most if not all regions of the state should be graded "green" or "yellow," or "healthy" and "moderate" categories, according to the Utah Division of Air Quality. All regions of the state were expected to earn "green" grades by Sunday.

The National Weather Service says that easier breathing should continue well into late next week, when a westerly flowing storm system is expected to provide northern Utah with an atmosphere-mixing encore.

Under partly cloudy skies with a slight chance of rain and perhaps a skiff of snow, the Salt Lake and Tooele valleys looked for high temperatures near 30 on Saturday, not much warmer than the overnight lows in the teens. Friday's forecast called for daytime highs in the upper-30s.

Southern Utahns looked for sunny skies and highs in the upper-40s on Saturday, down from highs in the upper-50s forecast for Friday. Overnight lows were in the upper-20s.

The Utah Avalanche Center's preliminary risk ratings for potentially deadly snowslides in the mountain backcountry put the Logan district at "considerable," but the remainder of the state's slopes were graded at "moderate" risk.

For more extensive forecast information, visit the Tribune's weather page at http://www.sltrib.com/weather.

remims@sltrib.com

Twitter: @remims