Cold front bringing snow to Utah roadways

Background stock photo shows a long downhill straightaway on southbound Interstate 15 in Southern Utah in wintertime. | Photo by Willowpix / iStock / Getty Images Plus; Grunge Utah highway shield by uptonpark / iStock / Getty Images Plus; composite by St. George News

ST. GEORGE — A southward cold front is bringing snow to Utah’s roadways Friday evening. Affected routes in Southern Utah include parts of Interstate 15 and areas near Brian Head and Panguitch Lake.

Travel map indicates routes affected by snow and wind gusts in Utah Saturday and Sunday | Image courtesy Utah Department of Transportation, St. George News / Cedar City News | Click on image to enlarge

The cold front will continue progressing south through the state, with snow reaching I-15 near Beaver as of 3 p.m. MST.

The higher summits along I-15, from south of Kanosh to Parowan, could see road snow developing by Friday evening as the front pushes south, according to the Utah Department of Transportation.

Central and southern mountain routes, including Interstate 70 summits, will see moderate road snow lasting through Friday evening, and strong gusts will be possible near Fremont Jct/I-70 behind the front Friday evening.

Other Southern Utah highways affected by road snow through approximately 8 p.m. Friday include:

  • State Route 143 over Brian Head Flats, Parowan to Panguitch.
  • State Route 153 to Puffer Lake/Eagle Point.
  • State Route 14 over SR-14 Summit, Cedar City to Long Valley Jct./US-89.
  • State Route 20 over SR-20 Summit, between US-89 & I-15 at milepost 95.

In addition to snow, strong and gusty southwest winds will continue across parts of Southern Utah into early Friday evening, according to the National Weather Service.

A complete list of routes affected in Northern Utah areas can be found on the UDOT website.

Vehicle preparation and safety precautions for winter weather driving.

Getting ready

  • Be aware of road conditions. UDOT recommends checking CommuterLink or UDOT’s current road conditions of calling 511 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.

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 skid when the next stop sign appears.
  • Do not use the car’s cruise control while ice and snow still abound.

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.

Email: jwitham@stgnews.com

Twitter: @STGnews

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

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