Advisory warns of continued heavy snowfall on Utah roadways

Winter driving stock image | Photo by mariakraynova, iStock / Getty Images Plus, St. George News / Cedar City News

ST. GEORGE — A weather advisory in place for a large portion of Utah is warning of continued snowfall on roads Saturday into Sunday morning.

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

The National Weather Service in Salt Lake City issued a winter storm warning in effect until 5 a.m. Sunday advising motorists to plan on difficult travel conditions.

Heavy continued snow will bring additional accumulations of 4 to 6 inches and make for significant reductions in visibility at times.

Snow will continue across northern Utah through Saturday night before tapering off in the valleys around 9-10 p.m. and retreating to the mountains through Sunday morning.  Southcentral Utah will see road snow through the day Saturday, before snow showers finally taper off Sunday morning.

As temperatures drop after sundown Saturday evening, road slush will become a concern.

Routes affected in Southern Utah

Through Saturday evening on Interstate 15, road snow will continue from Beaver to I-70 junction and Beaver to Exit 27 at Toquerville, according to the Utah Department of Transportation.

Other Southern Utah roadways affected by road snow through Sunday morning include the following routes:

  • 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 Route 89.
  • State Route 20 over SR-20 Summit, between US-89 & I-15 at milepost 95.
  • State route 24 over Wayne Summit between Richfield and Loa.
  • State Route 12 from US-89 past Bryce Canyon to Tropic.
  • State Route 56 from the Nevada state line to I-15.

For a complete list of routes affected by the storm throughout Utah, visit 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, 2018, all rights reserved.

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