The National Weather Service in Salt Lake City is warning of a big weather change coming to Utah this weekend, with large amounts of snow predicted for northern Utah mountains, valley rain and perhaps even a trace of snow in some valley locations.
Temperatures will plunge, with near freezing or below freezing temperatures forecast across the state, dropping 10 to 20 degrees below normal.
The agency advises residents to winterize their recreational vehicles, to pick those late season tomatoes and to take action to protect sprinkler systems as a hard freeze is looking to descend Saturday night into Monday morning. Temperatures dipping to 28 degrees Monday morning will damage or kill crops and may freeze external pipes.
🧵A few updates this morning from your midshift at WFO Salt Lake City— NWS Salt Lake City (@NWSSaltLakeCity) October 21, 2022
First up, we told you it's going to get cold. It's going to snow in the mountains. Valley locations may also see some snow. Here's our initial thoughts for some of the cities. #utwx #wywx pic.twitter.com/PoejLzFfmK
Employees at Wasatch Community Gardens were taking precautions on Friday, taking care to cover marigolds in advance of the storm.
The flowers are being grown for the upcoming Dia de los Muertos celebration and they don’t fare well in cold weather. The day recognizes the loss of loved ones, and marigolds hold special spiritual and cultural tradition in the celebration.
Maddie Judge, Utah and school garden program director with Wasatch Community Gardens, said in one section alone, the workers covered 100 plants with frost cloth and greenhouse plastic to build a tropical atmosphere that will help the plants along on their bloom cycle.
While she said she is not surprised at the timing of the October storm, the plunging temperatures are a bit of an anomaly.
“It is a little surprising it will drop so drastically this time of year,” making a dramatic shift in what type of weather Utah and the rest of the West has been experiencing with above normal temperatures.
The strong Pacific storm will move through the western United States Friday and Saturday, and shift across the central and northern plains Sunday into early next week. With it will come heavy mountain snow, rain and high winds. It will also present a fire danger for the Great Basin region.
The season’s first wintry weather will dump the highest accumulations of snow in elevations above 7,000 feet, according to the service, and winter storm warnings are in effect for a wide swath of the state, including the Wasatch Front.
Southern Utah and south central Utah should brace for strong gusty winds on Saturday of up to 50 mph ahead of the cold front, including St. George, Cedar City and the Escalante area. The winds will diminish as the cold front passes.