The storm that has kept Utahns soggy since Sunday evening is on its way out — but it may be back.

The slow-moving storm was spinning north into Idaho late Wednesday, and northern Utah is expected to be partly cloudy and cool today, KSL-TV chief meteorologist Mark Eubank said. But after the low-pressure system backtracks toward Washington and returns to the Pacific — a strange pattern for Western storms, Eubank said — it could regain strength and head back to Utah next week: "the same storm, recycled."

For some areas, Wednesday was a slightly drier day than Tuesday, though Eubank said parts of northeastern Utah County "just have been hit really hard." As of Wednesday evening, areas around Pleasant Grove and Alpine had received 2 inches or more of water since Sunday, "which is huge," he said.

Typically, storms roll into Utah and have moved through within 12 hours, but this week's storm was spinning slowly, Eubank said, causing it to "linger and linger."

It dropped large hail in Cache Valley and smaller hail in Mapleton on Wednesday, and it dumped 2 inches of snow on Midway Wednesday morning, Eubank said. The entire storm left the Salt Lake International Airport with about an inch of new water.

The storm has been part of a pleasantly wet spring for drought-stricken Utah, bringing Salt Lake City's total for April to about 2 inches. April, typically the second-wettest month of the year, averages about 2.02 inches of rain in Salt Lake City. With the storm's possible return next week, April 2005 could end as an above-average month for moisture.

"And more important than that, it's the wettest first four months of the year in seven years," Eubank said. "We're back to pre-drought levels."

The storm's remnants should be little more than mostly cloudy skies today and should be gone Friday, leaving Utahns with yet another unseasonably warm weekend. Saturday could hit the upper 70s in Salt Lake City.

"Temperatures are acting like a yo-yo," Eubank said. "It's hard to know how to dress."


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