SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4) — Our next substantial storm will get a grip on the Great Basin Sunday and into early next week and as a result, several storm-related winter weather alerts have been issued for Utah.
This heavy precipitation is associated with a large trough, or area of low pressure, digging into the desert southwest. The trough is linked to an atmospheric river, which pulls subtropical moisture from the Pacific Ocean inland and in this case, will funnel some of that into the state of Utah.
Which warning or advisory impacts your backyard? Starting in northern Utah, we have a Winter Strom Watch for much of the state west of I-15 from Cache County all the way down to Sevier county. This Watch starts Sunday morning and lasts through Tuesday morning and there is heavy snow forecasted during this time for mountains where we could see two feet or more in some areas. Valleys could receive anywhere from 2-5″ while the benches could pick up half a foot to a foot of snow in the next few days as multiple waves of snow are expected.
East of I-15 in the same region the NWS has issued a Winter Weather Advisory. This will run at the same time as the Watch and is in place to alert everyone to the hazards associated with the storms. In these areas, it is best to use caution, especially in regard to any traveling you might be looking to do. For exact areas affected by these alerts, please see the map included in this article.
In the South, the National Weather Service has issued multiple Winter Weather Advisories for the southwestern portion of Utah (please see map) and is warning of difficult travel. These Advisories are in effect from 11 a.m. Sunday until 11 a.m. Monday morning.
There is also a Winter Strom Warning for a majority of southwestern Utah set for the same time. In these areas (pink on the map) we are expecting heavy snowfall – as much as 2″ per hour. Mountains in southern Utah could see close to a foot and a half of snow during this time and anyone in these areas should take caution.
A “Warning” is different than a “Watch” in that the threat is more imminent. It is likely that the northern “Watch” will be changed to a “Warning” soon and we will let you know when it does.
This winter storm brings gusty winds, rain, and snow to the state with the heaviest precipitation expected Sunday evening into Monday morning. Cold air following the passage of a cold front during that time frame will also switch valley rain to snow. Several commutes will be impacted by this storm including Monday morning.
Snow becomes showery on Monday and Tuesday with an unsettled pattern dominating the work week, and accumulation will continue.
Accumulating valley snow will crest tricky wintry travel at times, with expected snow in our mountain valleys like Park City between 8-14″ and our mountains statewide picking up between 10-24″ of snow. The Cottonwoods and Southern mountains have the best chance at one to two feet from this system.
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