Got snow? NWS upgrades alerts for So. Utah, Nevada; issues advisory for Dixie

SOUTHERN UTAH — The National Weather Service has upgraded its “Winter Storm Watch” alerts for Southern Utah and central and northeast Clark County, Nevada, to “Winter Storm Warning” for heavy snow in effect until 4 p.m. MST in Utah and 10 p.m. PST in Nevada Thursday.

The NWS has also issued a “Winter Weather Advisory” for snow and blowing snow for Utah’s Dixie and Zion National Park, including the City of St. George, in effect from 11 p.m. Tuesday through 4 a.m. Thursday.

Winter Storm Warning for Southern Utah and Clark County, Nevada

Dots denote affected area at radar time 9:25 a.m., Southern Utah, Dec. 30, 2014 | Image courtesy of the National Weather | Click on photo to enlarge
Dots denote affected area at radar time 9:25 a.m., Southern Utah, Dec. 30, 2014 | Image courtesy of the National Weather | Click on photo to enlarge

Affected area

Much of Southern Utah including southwest and south central Utah, the southern mountains, the San Rafael Swell and the Lake Powell area, including the cities of: Green River, Hanksville, Beaver, Cedar City, Milford, Kanab, Escalante, Bullfrog, Loa, Panguitch and Bryce Canyon.

Central and northeast Clark County, Nevada, Sheep Range, Spring Mountains, Red Rock Canyon, Las Vegas Valley, including the cities of: Mesquite, Overton, Moapa, the Town of Mt. Charleston, Red Rock, Las Vegas, North Las Vegas, Henderson, Boulder City, Summerlin, Nellis, Mountains Edge, Seven Hills and Blue Diamond.

Snow accumulations

In Southern Utah: Ten to 20 inches is expected across the higher terrain with 5 to 10 inches across the valleys. Locally higher amounts are possible, particularly along the Highway 12 Corridor including the Escalante and Boulder areas.

In central and northeast Clark County, Nevada: Snow levels should start around 3,000 feet then lower to around 2,000 feet.

Dots denote areas  subject to a Winter Storm Warning, Clark County, Nevada, at 7 a.m. PST, Dec. 30, 2014 | Image courtesy of National Weather Service, St. George News | Click on image to enlarge
Dots denote areas subject to a Winter Storm Warning, Clark County, Nevada, at radar time 7 a.m. PST, Dec. 30, 2014 | Image courtesy of National Weather Service, St. George News | Click on image to enlarge

Timing

Snow will become heavy at times late Tuesday night through the day Wednesday, and continuing into Thursday before tapering off.

Two events are forecast for Southern Utah: The first will deposit light snow along the Interstate 70 Corridor until early Tuesday evening. The main storm develops late Tuesday night and peaks Wednesday afternoon and evening, before ending Thursday.

In Clark County, Nevada, precipitation is expected to begin Tuesday night, be steadiest and heaviest Wednesday afternoon and evening, then taper off late Wednesday evening. The best window for seeing accumulating snow in the Las Vegas valley will be on New Year’s Eve in the afternoon and evening hours.

Winds

In Southern Utah: Localized gusts of 30 to 40 mph from the northeast are forecast through Thursday morning.

In Clark County, Nevada: North to northeast winds at 5-10 mph with gusts of 15-20 mph are expected.

Impacts

Travel on Interstate 70 in Utah may be impacted as early as Tuesday morning due to light snow quickly accumulating on cold roads. The main storm will impact travel across the region late Tuesday through Thursday morning, including portions of the Interstate 15 and Highway 89 corridors, as well as Utah Routes 12 and 24.

In Clark County, Nevada: Difficult travel conditions are expected on area roads including Highways 157, 158, 159 and 160. Snow-covered trails are expected in the mountains making for dangerous hiking conditions.

Precautionary preparedness actions

A Winter Storm Warning for heavy snow means that significant accumulations of snow are expected or occurring. Driving conditions may be hazardous. Use caution. Keep a winter storm survival kit in your vehicle in case of an emergency.

Winter Weather Advisory for Utah’s Dixie and Zion National Park, including the City of St. George.

Dots denote affected area at radar time 9:30 a.m., Utah’s Dixie, Dec. 30, 2014 | Image courtesy of the National Weather | Click on photo to enlarge
Dots denote affected area at radar time 9:30 a.m., Utah’s Dixie, Dec. 30, 2014 | Image courtesy of the National Weather | Click on photo to enlarge

Snow accumulations

One to 3 inches.

Timing

Snow developing around midnight Tuesday, peaking Wednesday morning, before becoming showery Wednesday evening and night.

Winds

Northeast winds will gust to around 50 mph along the Interstate 15 Corridor north of Washington, and western Washington County along the Bull Valley and Pine Valley mountains. These strong winds are largely expected to remain outside of the St. George area.

Impacts

Snow and blowing snow will cause travel difficulties across Utah’s Dixie Tuesday night through Wednesday night. Expect winter driving conditions with slick roadways and reduced visibilities. Travelers are urged to leave extra time to reach their destination.

Precautionary preparedness actions

A Winter Weather Advisory means that visibilities will be limited due to a combination of falling and blowing snow. Use caution when traveling, especially in open areas.

Spotter information

Weather spotters are encouraged to report significant weather conditions according to standard operating procedures.

For more information visit the National Weather Service website or for information regarding potential road travel impacts visit the Utah Department of Transportation website.

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Email: kscott@stgnews.com

Twitter: @STGnews

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2014, all rights reserved.

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