Gusty winds Thursday precede a cold front expected to cover northwestern Utah with snow as the weekend begins.
Snow is expected to begin falling Friday — in time to affect the evening commute along the northern Wasatch Front — and will likely continue through Saturday night, according to the National Weather Service. The NWS also warns travelers in western Utah and along the Interstate 80 corridor to beware of strong crosswinds blowing up to 50 mph on Thursday night.
“Heavy” snow is likely, beginning Friday morning, in the Wasatch Mountains and western Uintas with anticipated accumulations of 10 to 20 inches, and localized amounts of up to 25 inches, according to a winter storm watch issued by the NWS.
The northern Wasatch Front, extending from Smithfield to Bountiful to Wendover, can anticipate three to eight inches, with localized amounts of up to 14 inches, from Friday morning through late Saturday night. Travel conditions may be “difficult” with significant reductions in visibility and the possibility of tree branches falling. Snow, sleet or ice may accumulate on roadways.
The NWS expected the same conditions to move through the the Salt Lake and Tooele valleys, as well as Utah County, beginning Friday afternoon.
In the Wasatch Mountains and valleys, including Huntsville, Park City and Heber, the NWS predicted seven to 14 inches, with localized amounts of up to 18 inches, beginning Friday afternoon.
The NWS issued a hazardous weather outlook for the remainder of the state, warning of gusty winds and significant snow accumulations from the storm for the western two-thirds of the state, except for in Utah’s Dixie and the lower eastern valleys. The eastern third of the state is warned of “a few showers” Thursday and a chance for accumulating precipitation on Sunday.
Temperatures in the Salt Lake City area are expected to reach the upper 40s Thursday with a chance of rain and are expected to stay in the lower 40s overnight. On Friday, highs will reach the lower 50s with snow beginning in the afternoon. On Friday night, accumulations will be possible as the snow continues and temperatures drop into the lower 30s. Saturday will be significantly colder with highs in the upper 30s and lows dipping down into the upper 20s overnight.
In the St. George area, highs will be in the upper 50s Thursday with overnight lows around 40 degrees. On Friday, highs will reach the mid-60s and will drop down to about 40 overnight. The area will see a chance of rain Friday night and Saturday, when highs climb into the mid-50s. Saturday night the rain will continue with a 50 percent chance of rain and snow after midnight.
The Utah Avalanche Center warned of considerable avalanche danger Thursday in areas near Ogden, Provo and Skyline. Moderate danger exists near Logan, Salt Lake, the Uintas, Moab and Abajo.
Moderate air quality in Salt Lake, Davis, Weber, Cache, Tooele, Duchesne and Uintah counties is expected be upgraded to good on Friday as the snowstorm moves through the area, according to the Utah Division of Air Quality.
For more detailed weather information, visit The Salt Lake Tribune’s weather page at www.sltrib.com/weather.