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Mother Nature has answered the prayers of skiers and snowboarders. And she isn't done yet.
As of Friday afternoon, ski resorts had reported up to 30 inches of new snow this week. Another foot or more will stack up through Monday, according to the National Weather Service.
Friday afternoon, Alta was reporting a 53-inch base. Brighton had 49 inches.
Heavy rains caused flooding in Cache County, falling on frozen, already saturated soil. Forty homes were flooded, five of them sustaining "heavy damage," said Rick Williams, county emergency manager.
Weber County also saw minor flooding in the Ogden Valley on Friday morning. Sheriff's Lt. Mark Lowther said at least seven homes have been affected with minor flooding in the Liberty and Eden areas.
Wind and rain will return to valley locations on Saturday, according to the weather service. Rain will change to snow by Saturday night, said hydrologist Brian McInerney.
A high wind watch is in effect through Saturday evening in the valleys of central and southern Utah with predicted winds of 30 to 40 mph.
Saturday's expected high in Salt Lake City is 46 degrees, dropping to 27 by Sunday morning. Snow accumulations on valley floors will be an inch or less, the weather service said.
Computer weather models suggest the Wasatch and Uinta mountains could pick up another six to 10 inches of snow by Sunday morning. Avalanche danger is rated high to extreme outside ski resort boundaries.
There will be a short break in storminess Sunday, McInerney said, but another wet impulse will move into the area Sunday night and bring snow through Monday. Valleys in northern Utah could pick up an inch of snow. But mountain areas could get an additional six inches or more.
The shift in the weather pattern is stark. December was a record dry month along the Wasatch Front, and it remained bone dry until Jan. 18. Since then, however, Salt Lake City International Airport has received 0.54 inches of water. Normal for January is 1.24 inches, McInerney said.
"Will this weather pattern bring us up to normal [for the water year]? Probably not. But our water supply is doing well anyway," he said, referring to the record water year of 2011.
It is unlikely that Utah will return to a prolonged high pressure pattern that blocks out all storminess, McInerney said. "It's hard to keep a [static] weather pattern like that all winter. The weather is usually more dynamic than that."
Rain will reach Cedar City late Saturday with a 50 percent chance of snow Saturday night as temperatures drop to 22 degrees. Sunny skies are forecast for Sunday. But a 50 percent chance of snow returns Monday with a high near 40.
The forecast for St. George calls for a 40 percent chance of rain Saturday and a high of 60 degrees. Sunday will be sunny, followed by a slight chance of rain Monday with a high of 53.
Utah's all wet
Here are storm totals (in inches) for various locations as of Friday afternoon:
1.64 • Clarkston, Cache County
1.35 • Garland, Box Elder County
1.94 • Liberty, Weber County
1.23 • Huntsville, Weber County
30 • Powder Mountain
22 • Snowbasin
18 • Brighton
16 • Snowbird
Source: National Weather Service