Winter weather advisory forecasting up to 14 inches of snow

This 2019 file photo shows and area near Interstate 15 Exit 40, Southern Utah, Feb. 5, 2019 | Photo courtesy of Rebecca Guillen, St. George News / Cedar City News

ST. GEORGE — The National Weather Service in Salt Lake City has issued a winter weather advisory for portions of Southern Utah starting 5 p.m. Monday and going through late Tuesday. However, snow is expected to continue in the area through Friday.

A winter weather advisory has been issued for portions of Southern Utah through 11 p.m. Dec. 24, 2019 | Map from National Weather Service- Salt Lake City Office, St. George News | Click to enlarge

The advisory is scheduled to expire 11 p.m. Tuesday and is forecasting snow totals of 7-14 inches for the Southern Utah mountains, including the cities of Bryce Canyon, Panguitch and Loa, with locally higher amounts possible. According to the National Weather Service, snow levels will drop as low as 4,000-5,000 feet on Tuesday, dropping to most valley floors, including possibly Southern Utah’s Dixie, from Thursday into Friday.

Travel routes most likely to see impacts include state Route 14 between Cedar City and US-89, state Route 143, state Route 153 and state Route 12 especially near Boulder Summit, as well as US-89 between Hatch and Glendale.

The advisory is calling for slippery, and at times snow-packed, road conditions over these and other mountain routes in the advisory zone.

Precautionary and preparedness actions

For the most current conditions, warnings and advisories, go to the National Weather Service-Salt Lake City office website. Additional information on driving conditions can be found at the UDOT website, as well as UDOT’s Commuterlink for current road and weather conditions, or dial 511.

Download this printable PDF: Vehicle Preparation and Safety Precautions for Winter WeatherThis is a project the whole family could participate in – make it a scavenger hunt with potentially lifesaving benefits.

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.

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

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