‘False spring’ is ending, and snow is headed back to Utah

Quick freeze storm is expected to create hazardous driving conditions.

After the warmest day of the year on Sunday, snow and freezing temperatures are on their way to northern Utah starting Monday night — and Tuesday morning’s commute could be troublesome.

According to the National Weather Service, it hit 63 degrees at Salt Lake City International Airport on Sunday, 14 degrees above normal and the warmest temperature since Nov. 15. (It wasn’t a record for Feb. 25, however; it reached 68 on that date in 1930.)

But it was what the weather service is calling “false spring 1″ for the Beehive state. It is still February and the first day of spring is three weeks away (March 19), so it’s not exactly a surprise that winter weather will be making a comeback. After reaching highs in the mid- to upper 50s on Monday, snow, strong winds and falling temperatures are expected across northern Utah.

A winter weather advisory has been issued for the Salt Lake Valley, Utah Valley, Tooele Valley eastern Box Elder County, the Cache Valley, Bear Lake and Bear River Valley from 8 p.m. Monday until 5 p.m. Tuesday. Snow accumulations of 1-4 inches are expected, with winds gusting to 45 mph. The wind, snow and quickly falling temperatures will bring hazardous driving conditions, especially between 8 p.m.-2 a.m.

The affected area includes Salt Lake City, Provo, Orem, Bountiful, Ogden, Logan, Brigham City, Snowville, Smithfield, Woodruff, Randolph and Garden City.

The “strong, robust cold front” is expected to bring snow to all valley locations above 4,000 feet, hitting the northern Wasatch Front between 8 p.m.-2 a.m. and the Salt

Lake, Tooele and Utah valleys between midnight and 6 a.m. Hazardous, possibly icy driving conditions are expected.

In the Salt Lake City area, rain is expected after 2 p.m. on Monday. It will become a rain-snow mix after 8 p.m., then snow is likely after 11 p.m. There’s a 100% chance of snow on Monday night, with less than an inch of accumulation expected; and there’s a 70% chance on Tuesday, when 1-2 inches are possible. Tuesday’s expected high temperature is just 35 — 15 degrees below normal.

Skies will clear on Wednesday, with highs expected to be in the mid-40s on Wednesday and the mid-50s on Thursday. And then more precipitation is expected — rain on Friday with highs in the upper 50s; rain on Saturday with highs in the lower 50s; and snow on Sunday with highs ner 40.

There’s also a winter weather advisory for the Wasatch Back, including the cities of Huntsville, Park City and Heber City, from 5 p.m. Monday-5 p.m. Tuesday. Total snow accumulations of 2-8 inches are expected. Higher mountain elevations may get 8-16 inches, with up to 20 inches in some spots.

The front will cross through southern Utah by Tuesday morning, bringing colder temperatures, snow and gusty winds. Central and southwest Utah — including the cities of Nephi, Cedar City, Beaver, Fillmore, Delta, Scipio and Milford — can expect 1-4 inches of snow, with the worst driving conditions between 3-9 a.m. Tuesday.

In St. George, there’s a 30% chance of rain on Monday night and a 40% chance on Tuesday morning. Skies will clear Wednesday-Friday, and there’s a chance of rain Saturday and a chance of rain and snow on Sunday. High temperatures in the mid-50s to mid-60s are expected through Saturday, before falling to the mid-40s on Sunday.