Winter weather advisory for central, Southern Utah mountains

WASHINGTON COUNTY – The National Weather Service out of Salt Lake City has issued a winter weather advisory for parts of central and Southern Utah effective midnight Wednesday to 9 p.m. Thursday.

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Graphic detailing areas to be impacted by winter weather. | Image courtesy of the National Weather Service, St. George News

Snowfall will start Wednesday night/early Thursday morning and become widespread across the southern mountains before sunrise.

The snow will spread north into the central mountains Thursday morning and continue across the south. The snow will taper off from the west Thursday night.

Affected areas

The mountains in central and Southern Utah including the cities of Cove Fort, Koosharem, Fish Lake, Loa, Panguitch and Bryce Canyon will be impacted.

Snow levels and accumulation

Snow levels range from around 7,500 feet in the southern mountains to 6,500 feet in the central mountains. New snowfall of 6 to 10 inches is expected, with totals towards the higher end of the range occurring across the southern mountains.

Impacts

Winter driving conditions will develop on roads throughout the southern mountains late Wednesday and will spread north across the central mountain routes including Interstate 70 through Thursday.


Read more: Hazardous weather outlook leads up to predicted white Christmas


Precautionary/Preparedness actions 

A winter weather advisory for snow means that snow accumulations will make travel difficult. Be prepared for snow covered roads and use caution while driving in the snow.

Snowplow on SR-18, Washington County, Utah, Dec. 7, 2013 | Photo by John Teas, St. George News
Snowplow on SR-18, Washington County, Utah, Dec. 7, 2013 | Photo by John Teas, St. George News

The Boy Scout motto is repeated by the Utah Department of Transportation: Drivers must be prepared.

Getting ready

  • Be aware of road conditions. UDOT recommends checking CommuterLink for road and weather conditions before leaving home.
  • Clear any frost and snow from the car’s lights and windows. Make an effort to see and be seen while driving.
  • Inspect the vehicle’s tires, fluids, wiper blades, lights and hoses. Preventative maintenance may save a car from breaking down and stranding drivers and passengers on the highway.
  • Allow for leeway in travel time. Expect to drive slowly in adverse weather conditions. High speeds can lead to skidding off the road and getting stuck in the snow.
  • Have emergency supplies in the car. A basic winter emergency kit may include items like a flashlight, batteries, snacks, water, gloves, boots and a first-aid kit.

When Driving

  • Take it slow. Drive well below posted speed limits and leave plenty of space between cars.
  • Approach intersections, off-ramps, bridges and shaded areas slowly. These areas are hot spots for black ice.
  • Slow down in cases of limited visibility and be alert.
  • Whether someone drives an elevated SUV or a ground-kissing Toyota Prius, again, UDOT says to take it slow. Just because a truck has 4-wheel drive doesn’t change how it handles on the road, especially when traction goes out the window. Mother Nature is no respecter of automotive diversity.
  • Keep the vehicle’s speed down. The faster the car goes, the longer it takes to stop. Be slow on the accelerator or risk having the car turn into a skidding bob-sled when the next stop sign appears. And no, gold medals will not be awarded to the winners of the impromptu car-sled competition.
  • Autopilot is not recommended. Do not put the car into cruise control while ice and snow still abound.

Additional information on winter driving can be found at the UDOT website, as well as UDOT’s Commuterlink for current road and weather conditions, or dial 511.

Email: mkessler@stgnews.com

Twitter: @MoriKessler

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2016, all rights reserved.

 

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2 Comments

  • .... December 22, 2016 at 5:58 am

    This is a great article and I would like to thank all those involved in making this possible to let people know what is expected while they travel during the holiday. Be safe out there folks. Slow down and give yourself Xtra time to get to your destination

  • Chris December 22, 2016 at 9:37 am

    “…ground-kissing Toyota Prius…” 🙂

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