A major winter storm bearing down on Utah could deposit up to 2 feet of snow in mountains as far south as Cedar City, and it will cause a significant drop in temperatures, according to the National Weather Service.
While the storm should clear out a long-lasting inversion, it is likely to make travel difficult in the Salt Lake Valley, where heavy snowfall is expected along the I-15 corridor.
Snow amounts of 4 to 8 inches are expected on valley floors, while 8 to 12 inches are predicted for benches, the weather service said. Mountains could see accumulations of 1 to 2 feet.
Snow will develop over far northwestern Utah by late Thursday morning and spread south and east through the afternoon and evening, when it will be heaviest. Snow will continue at times through Friday, and possibly into Saturday morning. Gusty winds accompanying the front through Friday may create areas of blowing and drifting snow.
A winter storm watch, signaling a combination of significant snow and strong winds, is in effect Thursday morning through Saturday morning for the Wasatch Front, Cache Valley and western valleys from the Idaho border south to Cedar City. Affected cities include Logan, Smithfield, Brigham City, Ogden, Bountiful, Salt Lake City, Tooele, Lehi, Provo, Nephi, Wendover, Snowville, Delta, Fillmore, Beaver, Cedar City and Milford.
As the front moves through, temperatures will plummet over the weekend, with predicted lows dipping into minus double digits in some areas.
Expected highs and lows for Sunday: Salt Lake City, 17 and 6 degrees, respectively; Provo, 16 and 4; Ogden, 14 and 2; Logan, 7 and minus 11; Randolph, 5 and minus 15; 3 and minus 17 in Duchesne; 18 and minus 8 in Cedar City; and 36 and 19 in St. George.