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Utah forecast: Valley rain, but wild snowstorms in the mountains
A Winter Storm Warning is in effect for the northern Wasatch Mountains through noon Friday, with valley rains and up to 2 feet of wind-driven mountain snowfall expected.
The snow, targeting the high elevations above Logan, Ogden and Salt Lake City, was coming in pulses that began early Thursday and were expected to continue overnight after a late Thursday afternoon break.
Mountain passes were to be hit hardest north of Interstate 80, where ridgeline gusts in excess of 60 mph were expected late Thursday night and early Friday morning.
The mountainous spine running from Park City south through Provo to Nephi was under a Winter Weather Advisory until 4 p.m. Thursday. From 8 to 14 inches of snow was expected to fall during the period.
The Utah Avalanche Center warned that the new storms had elevated the risk for potentially deadly snowslides in the mountain backcountry to "high" for all regions, with the exception of the Moab-area mountains, which still were at "considerable" avalanche risk.
The Salt Lake and Tooele valleys were wet, but above-freezing temperatures should keep the precipitation from turning into snow. Highs were forecast in the mid-50s for Friday with overnight lows around 40 degrees, the same as predicted for Thursday.
Southern Utahns basked in 70-plus degree weather under partly cloudy skies with overnight lows in the mid-40s.
The Utah Division of Air Quality awarded "green," or healthy breathability grades for the entire state.