This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2010, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.
Deer hunters and football fans beware: Utah's beautiful fall weather is expected to take a hard turn toward winter this weekend with temperatures dropping, rain expected in the valleys and snow in the mountains.
"I'm going to the Utah [football] game and taking my rain gear," said forecaster Mike Seaman of the Salt Lake City office of the National Weather Service. "Ponchos are going to be pretty popular in the stands."
Seaman said the forecast calls for a fast moving Pacific storm to move through much of northern Utah Saturday, bringing rain to the valleys where Utah and BYU are both hosting football games. The high in Provo, where there is a 30 percent change of rain, will struggle to reach 61 degrees. Salt Lake City can expect the same temps, but the chance of rain is 40 percent.
Deer hunters could have it much worse, however, with the snow level reaching as low as 7,500 feet Saturday evening and low temperatures in the mountains dropping into the 20s. The season opens Saturday.
"The coldest air doesn't arrive until late Sunday night and early Monday," said Seaman. "We should have precipitation during the day Sunday when the cold front ushers in the coldest air. Precipitation could be substantial for central and northern Utah mountains."
It could also be cold in the southern part of the state. Lows could drop to 31 on Friday and 25 Saturday in Cedar City, where rain and snow are possibilities.
U.S. Forest Service spokesperson Kathy Jo Pollock said hunters need to be prepared whenever they go into the mountains.
"People need to make sure they are not alone and that they tell people where they are and when they plan to be back," she said. "Bring warm clothing and water. If you get stranded and have to spend the night, be prepared."
Pollock said water has been turned off at most Forest Service campgrounds and if temperatures begin to drop, water will be shut off at the lower elevation campgrounds where it has remained on.
"People using ATVs need to stay on designated roads while they are out hunting," she said.
With temperatures expected to be near freezing in the valleys Sunday or Monday, homeowners should begin winterizing yards and homes, including turning off water to sprinkler systems and draining swamp coolers.
Deer hunter tips
Be prepared for weather conditions to change
Carry waterproof matches, extra food, water, first-aid kit, flashlight, map, compass, whistle and extra clothing, including rain and cold weather gear and a cell phone.
Leave a trip itinerary with family or friends and have a check-in/check-out plan.
Remember to wear orange.
Watch for additional foot traffic on roadways. Hunters will often use roads to walk to and from hunting areas and camps.
Carry a tow strap, proper tire chains and a shovel in your vehicle.
Learn to recognize a potentially dangerous situation and know when to turn around.
ATV users should stay on designated trails and roads.
Source: U.S. Forest Service