Winter storm watch issued for southern mountains

Two motorists attempt to move a car out of a traffic lane. Salt Lake City, undated | Photo courtesy of Utah Department of Transportation, St. George News

ST. GEORGE – The National Weather Service has issued a winter storm watch for the southern mountains of Utah. The winter storm watch is in effect from Saturday evening through late Monday evening.

Map showing the extent of the winter storm watch issued Saturday, Jan. 17, 2017 | Map courtesy of the National Weather Service, St. George News

Forecast area

Southern mountains including the cities of Loa, Panguitch and Bryce Canyon. See map included with this report.

Snow accumulations

Accumulations of 12-24 inches are expected.

Timing

Snow will develop Sunday morning, increasing in coverage and intensity through the day. Heavy snow at times through Monday night before decreasing.

Winds

Southwest winds of 25-35 mph with over 55 mph possible along exposed ridgelines through Monday.

Impacts

Significant travel impacts are expected on all southern mountain routes through Monday evening due to snow-covered roads. Travelers should be prepared to allow for extra time to reach their destinations.

Precautionary/preparedness actions

A winter storm watch means there is a potential for significant snow that may impact travel. Continue to monitor the latest forecasts.

Vehicle preparation and safety precautions for winter weather

Stay in your vehicle

  • Disorientation occurs quickly in wind-driven snow and cold.
  • Run the motor about 10 minutes each hour for heat.
  • Open the window a little for fresh air to avoid carbon monoxide poisoning.
  • Make sure the exhaust pipe is not blocked.
  • Make yourself visible to rescuers.
  • Turn on the dome light at night when running engine.
  • Tie a colored cloth (preferably red) to your antenna or door.
  • Raise the hood indicating trouble after snow stops falling.
  • Exercise from time to time, by vigorously moving arms, legs, fingers and toes to keep blood circulating and to keep warm.
  • Wear a hat; half your body heat loss can be from the head.
  • Cover your mouth to protect your lungs from extreme cold.
  • Mittens, snug at the wrist, are better than gloves.
  • Loose-fitting, lightweight, warm clothing in several layers is best. Trapped air insulates, and layers can be removed to avoid perspiration and subsequent chills.
  • Outer garments should be tightly woven, water repellent and hooded.
  • Safely removing tires and upholstery from your vehicle and lighting them on fire in a cleared area will create smoke to facilitate your being located.

Supplies recommended to keep in your vehicle in case of emergencies

  • Cellphone, portable charger and extra batteries.
  • Windshield scraper.
  • Battery-powered radio, extra batteries.
  • Flashlights, extra batteries.
  • Snack food.
  • Extra hats, coats, mittens, change of clothes.
  • Blankets.
  • Chains or rope.
  • Tire chains.
  • Spare gas.
  • Canned compressed air with sealant (emergency tire repair).
  • Road salt and sand.
  • Booster / jumper cables.
  • Emergency flares.
  • Bright colored flag; help signs.
  • Lighter / matches (waterproof matches and a can to melt snow for water).
  • First aid kit – (Basic first aid courses are recommended).
  • Spare water.
  • Hi-lift jack.
  • Spare tire with keys for locking lug nuts.
  • Spare keys.
  • Shovel.
  • Tow strap.
  • Tool kit.
  • Duct tape.
  • Trash bags.
  • Road maps.
  • Compass.
  • Towels, paper towels.

The above recommendations were compiled in 2015 from the Washington County Sheriff’s Search and Rescue website, the Center for Disease Control’s emergency winter weather checklist and the U.S. Search and Rescue Task Force’s website on blizzard preparedness. This is a list of suggestions, in no particular order of priority, and should not be presumed exhaustive.

Printable / savable pdf: Vehicle Preparation and Safety Precautions for Winter Weather.

Resources

Email: news@stgnews.com

Twitter: @STGnews

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

Free News Delivery by Email

Would you like to have the day's news stories delivered right to your inbox every evening? Enter your email below to start!

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.