There is a winter storm warning in the mountains of Utah and avalanche risk is very high


Rain and above-normal temperatures are expected at lower elevations.

(Leah Hogsten | The Salt Lake Tribune) Mothers and their children build a snowman in Centreville, December 9, 2021. Not much snow is expected at lower elevations this week – mostly rain – but expect 1-2 feet of snow in the mountains.

The National Weather Service issued a winter storm warning extending through 5 p.m. Thursday in the mountains of northern Utah, including Wasatch and western Uintas, Bear Lake and the Bear River Valley. Rain is forecast across northern Utah, but rain is likely at lower elevations.

Forecasts show 1-2 feet of snow in the mountains and 3-6 inches in the Bear River Valley. Wind gusts of up to 60 mph will snow roads and reduce visibility to near zero, including on Interstate 80 in northeastern Utah and southwestern Wyoming.

The alert covers the cities of Alta, Brighton, Woodruff, Randolph, Garden City, Mantua, Logan Summit and Mirror Lake Highway.

The avalanche warning is in effect until 6 a.m. Thursday in the mountains of northern Utah, including the Wasatch and Bear River ranges and western Uintas.

The Utah Avalanche Center warned that heavy, dense snow, strong winds and the possibility of rain on lower-altitude snow “will create hazardous avalanche conditions and a high risk of avalanche.” Both natural and human-triggered avalanches are “probable.” Hikers and skiers are warned to “stay away … and off slopes higher than 30 degrees.”

The warning does not apply to ski areas that have implemented avalanche mitigation measures.

There’s a 90% chance of snow turning to rain in Salt Lake City Wednesday and a 50% chance of rain on Thursday. And temperatures will be unusually warm – 43 on Wednesday, 46 on Thursday and 48 on Friday, when partly cloudy skies are expected.

The normal high temperature for this time of year is 38, according to the National Weather Service.

The forecast is for sunny skies and warmer temperatures in southern Utah. It will be 53 in St. George on Wednesday, 57 on Thursday and 59 on Friday. The usual highs for this time of year are 52-53. There is a winter storm warning in the mountains of Utah and avalanche risk is very high

Yasmin Harisha

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