Expect strong to severe thunderstorms and damaging winds across much of Utah on Thursday, the National Weather Service warns.

A wide swath of the state, on both sides of I-15 from St. George to the Idaho border, is under threat of storms, wind and hail that will develop in the early afternoon.

A NWS wind advisory remains in effect through 10 p.m. Thursday, with gusts that could reach 55 mph. Drivers should expect strong crosswinds, and residents are advised to secure loose objects.

The summer-like temperatures — expected to reach the mid-70s in the Salt Lake area on Thursday — will drop dramatically on Friday, when the high will be in the mid-50s.

And there's snow in the forecast. It's not expected to reach the valleys, but snow levels are expected to fall to 6,500 feet Friday morning, with mountain snow — and some accumulations — in higher elevations.

The forecast calls for rain throughout the weekend, continuing through the middle of next week and possibly longer.