Weather impacts: Wind, power, roads

Photo for illustration purposes only. Power lines in St. George, Utah, December 12, 2014 | Photo by Joyce Kuzmanic, St. George News

SOUTHERN UTAH – Heavy winds are subsiding in Southern Utah counties, but snow remains in the forecast for the central and southern mountain summits. Power outages affecting Rocky Mountain Power customers Tuesday night have been about 50 percent restored, with 9,243 customers statewide yet without power. Road conditions in central and southern Utah will be affected by snow paticularly in the mountain summit regions of central and southern Utah and are expected to turn slushy and wet as the day wears on.

Dots denote areas subject to wind warning, Southern Utah, April 15, 2015, 6:40 a.m. | Image courtesy of the National Weather Service, St. George News
Dots denote areas subject to wind warning, Southern Utah, April 15, 2015, 6:40 a.m. | Image courtesy of the National Weather Service, St. George News

Wind and snow

The National Weather Service’s heavy wind warning for the western Uinta basin, the San Rafael Swell, the south-central valleys and the Lake Powell / Glen Canyon National Recreation Area is canceled.

According to the NWS, west to northwest winds will continue in the 20-30 mph range with a few gusts approaching 40 mph through early afternoon Wednesday.  Winds will gradually decrease throughout the afternoon.

Across the southern Rockies, the NWS predicts a burst of snow over Utah, moving slowly south and eastward over the next couple of days as an upper low develops over the central and southern Rockies.  Further, the Service’s report Wednesday states:

The development of this low signals that the weather system will not only move very slowly but will also bring considerable moisture to move within this system. Such lows can lead to significant upslope flow toward and over the mountains and combined with cold enough temperatures for heavy snow across portions of Wyoming, Colorado, Utah and parts of northern New Mexico.

Snow showers in the northern part of the state are expected to shift south through central and western Utah late Wednesday afternoon, with the central mountain regions seeing snow accumulations.

In Nevada, a high wind warning remains in effect until 11 p.m. Wednesday in Nevada for Lake Mead National Recreation area, the cities of Bullhead City, Mohave Valley, hoover Dam and Laughlin. The NWS forecasts north winds at 30-40 mph with occasional gusts up to 60 mph Wednesday morning in these areas.

Power

Rocky Mountain Power spokesman Paul Murphy told St. George News late Tuesday night that 17,364 customers of Rocky Mountain were without power.

“The wind and the moisture causes the lines to arc, and arc causes the poles to catch fire; and so, it just causes the power to go out,” Murphy said Wednesday. “So we had crews out all night trying to restore everyone.”

By Wednesday at 7:50 a.m., Murphy said that only 2,036 customers south of Point of the Mountain, that is, south of the Salt Lake Valley, remain without power. Statewide, a total of 9,243 Rocky Mountain Power customers remain without power.

In Parowan and Paragonah valley areas, representing 179 customers, power was restored at 5:17 a.m.

In the Brian Head area, representing 1,627 customers, power was restored by 5:35 a.m.

In the Cedar City area, 27 customers remain without power at 7:50 a.m.

Travel weather highlights posted by Utah Department of Transportation, April 15, 2015, 6 a.m. | Image courtesy of UDOT, St. George News | Click on image to enlarge
Travel weather highlights posted by Utah Department of Transportation, April 15, 2015, 6 a.m. | Image courtesy of UDOT, St. George News | Click on image to enlarge

Roads

According to Utah Department of Transportation, light snow showers will impact travel over cental and southern summits in Utah, primarily Interstate 70 over Clear Creek and Ivie Creek, with brief slush possible along Interstate 15 between Scipio summit and Beaver. Roads will trend wet by late Wednesday morning.

The following southern routes will be impacted:

  • I-15 – Nephi through Beaver – UDOT forecasts patchy ice impacting travel along I-15 in this region through 9 a.m. Wednesday, with road slush accumulating along higher summit routes, including Scipio Summit and Dog Valley / Cove Fort.
  • I-70 and I-15 – Fremont Junction; Clear Creek and Ivie Creek Summits
  • U.S. Highway 191 – Duchesne to Helper; Indian Canyon Summit
  • U.S. Highway 6 – Eureka to Helper; Soldier Summit
  • Particular forecasts for these routes may be found here

UDOT also has emergency alerts in effect at 7:30 a.m. for northern Utah roads and highways.  Chains are required for semitrailer trucks through the Spanish Fork in Utah County. Alerts for Salt Lake County include chains and four-wheel drive in certain areas, particulars of which may be found here.

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Email: jkuzmanic@stgnews.com

Twitter: @JoyceKuzmanic

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2015, all rights reserved.

 

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6 Comments

  • Brian April 15, 2015 at 9:08 am

    Is it just me, or does this seem like a problem we should be able to solve in 2015? “The wind and the moisture causes the lines to arc, and arc causes the poles to catch fire; and so, it just causes the power to go out”. We’ve known for thousands of years that wood can catch on fire, and we’ve created retardants, learned to use metal, etc. Certainly there is a solution to this that makes economic sense.

    • Car4sale April 15, 2015 at 5:44 pm

      You just figure that out idiot.? Kindergarten kids no that..

  • NotSoFast April 15, 2015 at 11:10 am

    You’ve hit the nail on the head Brian. Economic Sense. How many normal wood poles can you purchase for the price of a metallic pole installation? (40?)what’s the percentage of poles catching on fire? Ask a corporate accountant what best for the company.
    While your at it, ask him the economic sense of ObamaCare.

  • fun bag April 15, 2015 at 12:25 pm

    write a letter to the governor. i’m sure he cares

  • Car4sale April 15, 2015 at 5:42 pm

    What storm..?

  • beentheredonethat April 16, 2015 at 11:24 am

    PTSD….Power temporarily shut down

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