Where the snow falls, road and mountain advisories

This December 2016 file photo illustrates snowy road conditions with a snowplow clearing roads on state Route 56, Iron County, Utah, Dec. 24, 2016 | Photo courtesy of C.R. Thelin, St. George News

SOUTHERN UTAH – The National Weather Service’s winter weather advisory in effect until 11 a.m. Friday foresees snow in Utah’s southern mountains and motorists are advised to be mindful and prepared for snow and winter weather condtions, particularly in U.S. Highway 89 and state Route 143 between Brian Head and Mamoth Creek.

Shaded areas denote areas subject to a winter weather advisory issued by the National Weather Service for the southern mountains of Utah, radar time 7:48 a.m. Jan. 12, 2017 | Image courtesy of NWS, St. George News | Click on image to enlarge
Shaded areas denote areas subject to a winter weather advisory issued by the National Weather Service for the southern mountains of Utah, radar time 7:48 a.m. Jan. 12, 2017 | Image courtesy of NWS, St. George News | Click on image to enlarge

Southern mountain areas generally

Widespread snow is expected to develop Thursday morning and continue through the night – heavy at times – before diminishing Friday, the advisory states.

Snow accumulations are expected to be 2-6 inches along U.S. Highway 89 and 6-12 inches elsewhere.

Snow levels will occur at round 6,000 feet elevation Thursday, dropping to 5,000 feet Thursday night.

Friday following

Southern and southeastern Utah are expected to have accumulating snow Friday evening into Saturday before the current storm exits the area, according to the Weather Service’s seven-day outlook.

The next storm to bring accumulating snow to northern and central Utah is expected middle to later in the coming week.

Moab area mountains

The Utah Avalanche Center’s advisory Thursday rates avalanche danger for the Moab area mountains as considerable in upper elevation wind-exposed terrain.

“Avalanche conditions are tricky,” the advisory states, “and the snow surface isn’t talking to us a whole lot.”

Strong southerly winds deposited large amounts of snow down-slope on upper elevation north-northeast-east facing slopes and cross-loading has occurred on all aspects, the advisory states. Those slope steeper than about 30 degrees that have wind-drifted snow are to be avoided.

TravelWise weather highlights issued at 1:45 a.m. Thursday by Utah Department of Transportation, Utah, Jan. 12, 2017 | Image courtesy of UDOT, St. George News | Click on image to enlarge
TravelWise weather highlights issued at 1:45 a.m. Thursday by Utah Department of Transportation, Utah, Jan. 12, 2017 | Image courtesy of UDOT, St. George News | Click on image to enlarge

Road conditions

Utah Department of Transportation has several emergency alerts in effect Thursday morning, most of them in counties north of Southern Utah. But in Iron County, state Route 143 is closed between mileposts 17 and 28, from Brian Head to Mammoth Creek, due to weather.

Both UDOT and the Weather Service note winter driving conditions on U.S. 89, from the Idaho-Utah border through Kanab.

See other road alert particulars on UDOT’s emergency alerts webpage here and specific road information on UDOT’s road weather alerts webpage here.

Precautionary/preparedness actions

Thursday’s advisories foresee mainly travel-related difficulties and motorists are advised to use caution.

Besides the more obvious road concerns when traveling in snow, risks and challenges increase when a vehicle becomes stuck somewhere that assistance may not be readily available. Having vehicles stocked and being prepared for such circumstances can be the key to survival.

Read more:  Vehicle Preparation and Safety Precautions for Winter Weather (Printable / savable pdf).

Email: jkuzmanic@stgnews.com

Twitter: @STGnews

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2017, all rights reserved.

 

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