Winter storm expected to affect driving on roads in Southern Utah

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

ST. GEORGE — A storm with several inches of snowfall is forecast to affect a large portion of the state Saturday and Sunday, including parts of Southern Utah and northern Arizona.

Shaded areas denote region subject to winter weather advisory in Utah. Radar map generated at 10:11 a.m., Jan. 5, 2019 | Image courtesy of the National Weather Service, St. George News | Click on image to enlarge

In Utah, the National Service has issued a winter weather advisory in effect from 9 p.m. Saturday to 5 p.m. MST Sunday. In northern Arizona, the winter weather advisory is in effect in effect from 5 p.m. Saturday to 11 a.m. MST Sunday.

Affected area

Regionally affected areas include the central and southern mountains, with some of the heaviest impact in Cove Fort, Panguitch and Bryce Canyon. Areas of Interstate 15 affected fall in northern Washington County, Iron County and Beaver County. Parts of northern Mohave County in Arizona are expected to be affected by winter driving conditions, including a large portion of the Arizona Strip, possibly affecting I-15 toward Mesquite, Nevada.

Portions of central and northern Utah are also affected by the winter weather advisory, with Woodruff, Randolph, Alta, Brighton, Mirror Lake Highway, Scofield, Koosharem, Fish Lake and Loa expected to be hit the hardest.

Snowfall

In Utah, the winter storm is expected to bring snow with accumulations of 5-9 inches. In Arizona, total snow accumulations of 3-6 inches are expected in areas above 5,500 feet.

Precautions

The National Weather Service advises drivers to plan on low visibility and slippery and snow-packed road conditions across all high-elevation roadways.

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: jwitham@stgnews.com

Twitter: @STGnews

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2019, all rights reserved.

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