WEATHER

Rain, cold temperatures in central and northern Utah this weekend

May 24, 2024, 2:04 PM

Raindrops on a window with traffic lights in front of the car, memorial day weather will be chilly ...

Motorists drive in the rain in Millcreek on Wednesday, Feb. 7, 2024. Rain and snow showers are expected for this weekend. (Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News)

(Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News)

SALT LAKE CITY — Sunny skies and highs around 80 degrees are expected for Memorial Day, but Saturday will be much colder.

“We’re expecting the first half of the weekend to be wet and a little bit on the chilly side compared to where we should be this time of the year,” said Hayden Mahan, a meteorologist with the Salt Lake City National Weather Service.

Central and northern Utah forecast

Widespread rain, scattered thunderstorms, and even some high-elevation snow is expected across central and northern Utah on Saturday. Plus, upper elevation temperatures will be near freezing.

“Temperatures are going to be running 10 to 15 degrees below normal,” said Mahan.

Related: Times and places to avoid in Utah ahead of Memorial Day weekend traffic

Those below-average temperatures plus heavy rain clouds create the perfect conditions for snowfall.

Four to 8 inches of snow are forecasted to fall in elevations around 9,000 feet and above. But, that snow is not expected to stick around for too long as temperatures will quickly warm up on Sunday.

“Things dry out Saturday night, and then things start to warm up on Sunday and Monday,” said Mahan. “On Monday, we’ll be seeing temperatures a few degrees above average.”

Expected precipitation levels will be around a tenth to a quarter of an inch in the valleys and up to a half inch in the mountains.

Southern Utah expectations

Southern Utah is expected to avoid the storms, staying warm and dry through Memorial Day weekend.

“The further south you go, the less chance of rain and thunderstorms there are,” said Mahan. “Down to the Arizona border, or if you’re at Lake Powell or in St. George or Zion, we aren’t expecting too much in the way of showers or thunderstorms.”

No rain, but temperatures will be hot. Highs are expected in the mid to upper 80s with lows in the upper 50s.

How to prepare

If your plans do include camping in the mountains or rafting down a river, Mahan said there are some things you’ll want to have with you.

He suggested bringing a cover for your tent or other ways to stay dry, a NOA radio, and some way to check changes in the forecast.

For those doing water activities this Memorial Day weekend, be aware that rivers are running high, cold, and fast.

“The water temperatures are still very cold for this time of year. So you’re going to want to test out the waters before just jumping in headfirst,” said Mahan.

He also warned to stay away from rivers and reservoirs around dams.

“There could be debris in the water, you’re going to want to stay away from any dams, especially dams that could be releasing water.”

He said there is no major threat of flooding.

Weather forecasts and alerts can be found on KSL.com’s website.

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Rain, cold temperatures in central and northern Utah this weekend