ST. GEORGE — The National Weather Service in Salt Lake City has issued a wind advisory for western Utah and Utah Department of Transportation has simultaneously issued travel alerts for Utah roads and highways; collectively, the cautions are in effect Wednesday through about 10 p.m.
Wind speeds are expected to be 20-30 mph, with gusts up to 50 mph, which may include crosswinds on area highways that motorists are urged to be mindful of.
An unseasonably cold upper level trough over the Pacific Northwest will create a strong and dry southerly flow across much of Utah Wednesday. A weak cold front advancing towards northwest Utah combined with this strong southerly flow will produce strong, gusty southerly winds over the western valleys beginning late Wednesday morning. The winds will continue into Wednesday evening.
Salt Lake and Tooele valleys, southern Wasatch Front, Great Salt Lake Desert and mountains of west-central and southwest Utah. This includes the cities of Salt Lake City, Tooele, Lehi, Provo, Nephi, Wendover, Snowville, Delta, Fillmore, Beaver, Cedar City and Milford.
Winds will become strong Wednesday morning and remain strong through midevening Wednesday.
Impacts – roads / recommended precautions
Strong crosswinds on all travel routes through the advisory area will create hazardous travel conditions for high profile and light weight vehicles.
Major routes such as Interstate 80 through Tooele County and Highways 6 and 50 will be impacted as well as routes along and west of Interstate 15 from Cedar City to Salt Lake City.
Of highest concern, according to a Utah Department of Transportation alert, are east-to-west routes such as I-80, due to crosswinds. Peak gusts are expected between 2-6 p.m. Wednesday.
Motorists, especially those in high profile or lightweight/recreational vehicles, are advised by UDOT to use caution and TravelWise. The following east-to-west routes will see the most significant impact from crosswinds:
- I-80 – Wendover/Nevada line to Salt Lake City
- U.S. Highway 6 – Nevada line to Spanish Fork/I-15
- State Route 21 – Nevada line to Beaver/I-15
- State Route 56, – Nevada line to Cedar City/I-15
For more route-specific wind forecasts, visit UDOT’s alert with details here.