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Freezing temperatures, snowstorm may make for messy commute

Herriman trees as snow comes to the Salt Lake Valley and surrounding mountains Sunday, Nov. 3, 2013.
Herriman trees as snow comes to the Salt Lake Valley and surrounding mountains Sunday, Nov. 3, 2013.
Scott G Winterton, Deseret News

SALT LAKE CITY — Bundle up. Cold temperatures are here to stay.

Following a few unseasonably warm days through Thanksgiving and the weekend, temperatures are expected to plunge below freezing by Wednesday following a snowstorm that could plague commuters Tuesday.

Arctic air was pushing in from the Gulf of Alaska, bringing with it snow Monday night or Tuesday morning, said KSL meteorologist Kevin Eubank. Several inches of snow could fall in the valleys, with 1 to 2 feet anticipated in the Wasatch Mountains.

That could mean trouble for drivers.

"With (6 inches or more) of new snow along the benches of Davis and Weber counties and wind gusts near 60 mph, look for considerable blowing and drifting snow Tuesday evening into Wednesday," Eubank warned.

The cold front is projected to stall over central Utah for 36 to 48 hours, dropping 8 to 12 inches of snow and creating dangerous road conditions along I-15, he said.

The Utah Department of Transportation issued a warning Monday evening cautioning travelers about potential weather hazards stretching from Payson to Cedar City.

UDOT also advised drivers to limit travel on I-40 between Daniels Summit and the Colorado border, as well as over Soldier Summit on U.S. 6.

Temperatures are expected to drop into the 20s through Sunday.

Meanwhile, another storm is moving toward the state and is expected to hit northern Utah next week, accompanied by more arctic air. The high-pressure system will allow smog and fog to develop through the middle of December, Eubank said.

Email: mromero@deseretnews.com

Twitter: McKenzieRomero