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Gradual warming continues as haze builds in northern valleys

By Alana Brophy,

2023-02-03

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SALT LAKE CITY ( ABC4 ) – Happy Thursday or happy Friday eve, Utah! Also, happy Groundhog day!

Speaking of groundhog day, Punxsutawney Phil saw his shadow this morning and that means 6 more weeks of winter! Or does it? Statistically, Phil doesn’t have the best record. According to NOAA, Phil is correct roughly 40% of the time so if you’re not happy with his prediction, there’s better than a 50/50 chance of him not being right.

Punxsutawney Phil predicts an extended winter on Groundhog Day

While groundhog day is fun, when it comes to forecasting the weather, we’ve got you covered.

As for today, we’ll see mostly sunny to partly cloudy skies across the Beehive State thanks to high pressure being in control. Also, our gradual warming trend continues as most spots today will be roughly 5 degrees warmer than yesterday. That will mean mainly 20s and 30s up north and 30s and 40s down south with a few spots like St. George getting into the low 50s.

With calm conditions though, our inversion haze will continue to build in our northern Utah valleys and will impact our air quality. From Salt Lake County northward air quality is expected to fall into the unhealthy for sensitive groups range, but in Cache Valley with a STRONG inversion, UNHEALTHY air quality is expected. Where air quality is poor, it’s best to limit time outside if possible and due to the strong inversion in Cache, temperatures will stay cold with a high of only around 20.

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Into tonight we’ll start to see clouds begin to increase as high pressure begins to pull away. Even with more clouds though it will be another cold/frigid night with lows similar to slightly warmer than what we had this morning. With high pressure out of the way, a weak disturbance will brush the state tomorrow. At this point, the chance of any wet weather looks low with only a slight chance for some light snow in the high country.

For everyone else, we’ll get partly sunny to mostly cloudy skies with highs that will be another 3-5 degrees warmer than today. This system could bring some minimal haze relief in our valleys, but we’re not expecting any significant changes.

High pressure will build back briefly for Saturday resulting in a bit more sunshine as temperatures level out a bit. The high pressure won’t stick around though as another storm is expected to arrive late Sunday into Monday of next week with more significant chances of moisture. Temperatures will warm up over the weekend with the strong southwest flow in place, highs could be in the mid-40s on Sunday ahead of the storm along the Wasatch Front while St. George could hit 60!

With milder air in place, moisture could initially fall as rain/wintry mix in our valleys before changing over to snow late Sunday into early Monday next week. Accumulations at this point do look possible in our valleys with possibly several inches plus for our mountains. Stay tuned as we continue to fine-tune the forecast!

Heavy snow collapses Park City State Liquor store roof

Bottom Line?! Valley haze is sticking around through the end of the week with better air and moisture arriving over the weekend.

Always stay one step ahead of the weather with Utah’s Most Accurate forecast both on-air and online! We are Good4Utah!

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