Significant Weekend Winter Storm for Utah

Hi everyone. This is Charlotte Dewey with the National Weather Service in Salt Lake City. This weather briefing will talk about details with the significant winter storm expected this weekend. Beginning late today southerly winds will become gusty and continue through Friday. Gusts in excess of 50 mph are expected across the West Deserts and Western Valleys with strong crosswinds across east-west travel routes impacting interstate 80 and highway 50. The cold front will move into northern Utah Friday morning and it will essentially come to a halt until Saturday late afternoon. Exactly where this cold front stops and stalls is our area of greatest uncertainty. Due to the stalling cold front, the exact location and amount of snow with the front is uncertain Friday afternoon through evening for Northern Utah. The cold front will gradually move south and east through Utah Satruday into Sunday. As the main storm system swings through Utah Saturday, this will further push the cold front through Utah. This is our highest confidence: on periods of more widespread significant snowfall accumulation. This main part of the storm will reinforce the cold front and push it south through Utah through the remainder of the weekend. These forecast snow totals are for the entire storm, from early Friday through Sunday evening. This snow will be wet and heavy, having more water content as compared to previous storms we’ve seen this winter. The Northern & Southern Wasatch Front, Salt Lake & Cache Valleys, and the I-15 corridor to Cedar City will see 3 – 8”, localized up to 14”. The Wasatch Mountain Valleys are expected to see 7 – 14”, and localized areas up to 18”. The Wasatch mountains north and south of I-80, including the Cottonwood Canyons, Western Unitas and the Wasatch Plateau should see 10 – 20”, with localized areas up to 25”. To summarize, the winter storm this weekend will create a wide variety of weather impacts. Beginning late tonight gusty south winds will develop and continue through Friday creating strong crosswinds. Winter driving conditions are expected Friday evening across northern Utah including Provo Canyon, I-84, I-15 north of Ogden and highway 89 north of Salt Lake. For Saturday afternoon and Saturday night expect the entire I-15 corridor and all mountain routes to have winter driving conditions. This wet heavy snow may damage tree branches. And with this significant wet and heavy snow, increased avalanche danger is expected. Check out the utah avalanche center website for latest back country conditions. Thanks for watching our briefing! If you have any questions feel free to send us an email. You can also like us and interact with us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter and of course catch all of our latest videos here on YouTube.

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