Winter, hazardous weather forecast for much of Utah over next week

Stock image | Photo by LeManna/iStock/Getty Images Plus, St. George News

ST. GEORGE — A hazardous weather warning has been issued by the National Weather Service for much of Utah, including Southern Utah. A winter weather advisory has also been issued for the north-central and eastern parts of the state for Thursday.

The hazardous weather outlook includes two-thirds of Utah that also reaches in southwest Wyoming.

The outlook runs from Wednesday to the middle of next week.

The winter weather advisory, which covers the parts of Millard and Sevier counties to the northern edge of the state, is in effect between 5 a.m. and 10 p.m. Thursday.

Hazardous weather outlook

Impacted area

Winter weather outlook issued for parts of Utah by the National Weather Service for Dec. 26-Jan. 2. The winter weather advisory is marked in purple while the hazardous weather outlook is in yellow. | Image courtesy of the National Weather Service, St. George News

Wasatch Front and Uinta Mountains: The Cache Valley/Utah and Salt Lake and Tooele Valley areas of the northern and southern Wasatch Front, the Great Salt Lake desert and mountains, Wasatch Mountain valleys. Interstate 18 near and through the Wasatch and Uinta mountains, the Wasatch Plateau, Book Cliffs, western Uinta Basin, Castle Country, the Ran Rafeal Swell, Sanpete and Sevier valleys.

West-central and southwest Utah: Utah’s Dixie and Zion National Park.

South-central Utah: Glen Canyon Recreation Area and Lake Powell.

Time frame

Day one – Wednesday

Light snow will enter northwest Utah Wednesday afternoon and into the nighttime hours.

Day two through seven – Thursday though Wednesday

The next storm system will impact travel beginning during the morning commute Thursday, persisting through Thursday night across portions of central Utah.

While snow totals are expected to be light, the timing of the snow as well as cold road surfaces will likely cause significant travel issues Thursday morning.

Gusty winds are possible across outlying Washington County as well as Davis County Thursday night into Friday morning.

Another cold storm system will likely impact the region Sunday and Monday.

Thursday’s winter weather advisory

Area impacted

The Salt Lake and Tooele Valleys, southern Wasatch Front and Wasatch Mountain Valleys.

This includes Salt Lake City, Tooele, Lehi, Provo, Nephi, Huntsville, Park City and Heber City.

Expected conditions

Snow is expected to reach between of 1 to 4 inches in the affected area.

Roads will be cold, so even a small amount of snow will cause slick travel conditions for the morning commute, including interstates 15 and 80. Impacts improve during midday, however travel may be locally impacted into the evening hours near Tooele and Santaquin.

Precautionary and preparedness actions

A winter weather advisory for snow means periods of snow will cause primarily travel difficulties. Expect snow-covered roads and limited visibility, and use caution while driving.

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: [email protected]

Twitter: @MoriKessler

Copyright St. George News, LLC, 2018, all rights reserved.

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