Advisory issued as ‘game-changing’ storm expected to bring snow to Utah mountains

A map showing where a winter weather advisory is in effect in Utah on Sunday and Monday. Up to a foot of snow is thrown, according to the National Weather Service (National Weather Service)

Estimated reading time: 2-3 minutes

SALT LAKE CITY — Memorial Day weekend may be the unofficial start of summer, but it will be much more like winter in the mountains of Utah’s northern half.

The National Weather Service issued a winter weather advisory on Saturday that takes effect Sunday morning and remains in effect until 6 p.m. on Memorial Day for areas above 7,500 feet in the Wasatch and West End mountain ranges. Uinta, where 3 to 10 inches of snow is forecast. for the duration of the notice.

Some areas can even receive more than a foot of snow. Alta, for example, can end up getting 12 to 18 inches of snow, according to a snow pattern tweeted by the Salt Lake City Weather Service office.

Expect slush conditions over mountain passes at times, especially at night and during periods of heavier snowfall,” the agency wrote in the alert. “Expect cold, wintry conditions.

The snow is a bit of a surprise in terms of mountain snow accumulation. According to data from the Natural Resources Conservation Service, only about 0.7 inches of water remains in the statewide snowpack as the snowmelt season draws to a close.

Snow is also a possibility for areas above 6,500 feet on Sunday and Monday, KSL meteorologist Kristen Van Dyke said. Rain and thunderstorms are forecast for the Wasatch Front valleys.

The cooler temperatures are the result of a trough moving into Utah from the Pacific Northwest following a cold front that moved through Beehive State on Saturday.

“It’s going to be a game-changer for us,” Van Dyke said. “We are just getting waves of showers and thunderstorms during the day on Sunday. … We can only get out of the wet weather for others to come. These are heavier showers bringing more showers and snow for the higher elevations.

Complete seven-day forecasts for areas of Utah are available online at the KSL Weather Center.

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Carter Williams is an award-winning journalist who covers general news, the outdoors, history and sports for KSL.com. He previously worked for the Deseret News. He is a transplant from Utah via Rochester, New York.

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