Updated winter weather advisory issued for Utah

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

WASHINGTON COUNTY – Just when you thought winter would never get here, the National Weather Service out of Salt Lake City has issued a winter weather advisory for snow through 10 p.m. Wednesday.

Map courtesy of the National Weather Service, St. George News

Affected areas

Wasatch Mountains I-80 North, Wasatch Mountains South of I-80, Western Uinta Mountains, Wasatch Plateau/Book Cliffs, central Mountains, Southern Mountains including the cities of Woodruff, Randolph, Alta, Brighton, Mirror Lake Highway, Scofield, Cove Fort, Koosharem, Fish Lake, Loa, Panguitch and Bryce Canyon.

Update Jan. 10 8:27 a.m.: Expanded to cover additional areas now covered by this advisory


Read more: State Route 148 closed for the winter season


Snow levels and accumulation

The advisory is forecasting 3-5 inches of snow in mountain valleys with 8-16 inches total above 8,000 feet with slippery or snow packed road conditions.

Impacts

Be prepared for reduced visibility at times. Snow level will be around 8,000 feet Tuesday night into Wednesday, falling to the valley floor tomorrow. State Routes 143 and 20 will be affected the most, with all routes affected by winter conditions on Wednesday.

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.

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 skid when the next stop sign appears.
  • Do not use the car’s 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.

Weather watches, warnings and advisories issued by the National Weather Service Forecast Office in Salt Lake City can be found here.

Email: news@stgnews.com

Twitter: @STGnews

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