ST. GEORGE — The National Weather Service in Salt Lake City has issued both a winter weather advisory and a high wind watch, warning travelers that snow and strong winds will create hazardous driving conditions in many sections of the state.
The winter weather advisory is in effect from Thursday until Saturday and is forecast for the western Uinta Mountains, the Wasatch Plateau and Book Cliffs and the central and southern mountains.
The high wind watch is expected to affect the Dixie region including Zion National Park and St. George from Friday afternoon into late Friday night.
For the winter storm watch, the affected areas are western Uinta Mountains, the Wasatch Plateau and Book Cliffs and the central and southern mountains, including the cities of Mirror Lake Highway, Scofield, Cove Fort, Koosharem, Fish Lake, Loa, Panguitch and Bryce Canyon.
The high wind watch is expected to affect the Dixie region including Zion National Park and St. George. The strongest winds are expected to remain tied to and near the gaps and canyons across Washington County.
Winter weather advisory forecast
Snow accumulations of approximately 6 to 12 inches with locally greater amounts possible across the north slope of the Uintas. The heaviest snow accumulations will remain above 7,000 feet.
Snow, heavy at times, will continue to develop north to south across Utah’s mountains Thursday afternoon and will taper briefly Thursday night. Snow will increase in intensity and coverage Friday afternoon then continue with heavy snow at times through Saturday before tapering to lighter snow showers Saturday night and Sunday.
Snow levels near 7,500 feet Thursday afternoon, then lowering to near or just below 6,000 feet Friday.
Strong and gusty north to northeasterly winds will develop Friday afternoon and hold through Saturday. These winds will have the potential to create areas of blowing and drifting snow, with impacts greatest across exposed roads in the southern mountains.
Accumulating road snow and slush is expected to impact area roadways periodically through Saturday. Additionally, gusty northeasterly winds will create local drifting of snow and reduced visibility on exposed roadways across the central and southern mountains.
A winter weather advisory for snow means that snow accumulations will cause primarily travel difficulties. Be prepared for snow-covered roads. Use caution while driving.
High wind watch forecast
North to northeasterly winds increasing to 35 to 45 mph with gusts potentially in excess of 60 mph near the gaps and canyons.
Increasing Friday afternoon, with peak gusts expected Friday evening and overnight. Winds will remain gusty at times Saturday but are expected to decrease below hazardous levels.
Strong and gusty northerly winds will likely impact travel across the area, especially along the Interstate 15 corridor north of Leeds. Additionally, these strong winds will likely create dangerous conditions for boaters on area reservoirs including Quail Creek and Sand Hollow reservoirs.
A high wind watch means there is the potential for a hazardous high wind event. Sustained wind speeds of at least 40 mph or gusts of 58 mph or stronger may occur. Continue to monitor for the latest forecasts.