Winter storm could bring 3-6 inches of snow to St. George, 1-2 feet to mountains

Near Interstate 15 Exit 40, Southern Utah, Feb. 5, 2019 | Photo courtesy of Rebecca Guillen, St. George News / Cedar City News

ST. GEORGE— A winter storm watch has been issued by the National Weather Service for the Southern Utah area beginning Wednesday evening. The storm could bring 3-6 inches of snow to Utah’s Dixie and Zion National Park and even more in the central and southern mountains.

Map showing current weather advisories as of 8:40 a.m., Feb. 19, 2019 | Image from National Weather Service-Salt Lake City office, St. George News | Click to enlarge

Heavy snow is possible starting 7 p.m. Wednesday in Washington, Iron, Kane and Garfield counties and continuing through late Thursday night. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration warns of difficult or impossible travel conditions due to the potential for snow, sleet or ice accumulations.

Read more: In rare turn, storm brings evening snow to St. George but none to Cedar City; photo gallery

In addition to the amounts expected at the lower elevations, snow accumulation of 1-2 feet is possible in the central and southern mountains Wednesday evening through Friday afternoon and could affect Cove Fort, Koosharem, Fish Lake, Loa, Panguitch and Bryce Canyon, making travel in these areas difficult.

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.

For the most current conditions, warnings and advisories, go to the National Weather Service-Salt Lake City office website.

Email: mshoup@stgnews.com

Twitter: @STGnews | @MikaylaShoup

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

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