Weather service forecasts up to 20 inches of snow in southern mountains with rain, snow, wind in valleys

Stock image from Unsplash, St. George News

ST. GEORGE — The National Weather Service in Salt Lake City has issued a winter weather advisory for early Saturday morning through Sunday morning the Southern Utah mountains. Lower elevations are expected to see a rain-snow mix through the weekend.

Weather alerts and advisories as of 3:55 p.m., Feb. 12, 2021 | Map courtesy of National Weather Service-Salt Lake City office | Click to enlarge

According to the advisory, which goes into effect 5 a.m. Saturday and lasts until 11 a.m. Sunday, heavy snow accumulations of 10-20 inches are expected in the southern and central mountains, including the cities of Panguitch, Bryce Canyon, Loa, Fish Lake and Cove Fort. Travel could be very difficult. Winter driving conditions are expected along portions of Interstate 15 and Interstate 70.

The Weather Service is predicting a rain-snow mix in Cedar City on Friday and Saturday, but no significate snow accumulations are expected. However, Saturday night into Sunday morning, up to 4 inches of snow are expected. Winds will be moderate throughout the weekend, with the strongest winds expected Sunday from 14-17 mph.

St. George will see a 70% chance of rain Saturday, decreasing to 50% Saturday evening, but Sunday will bring a return of mostly sunny skies and a high near 52.

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, 2021, all rights reserved.

Free News Delivery by Email

Would you like to have the day's news stories delivered right to your inbox every evening? Enter your email below to start!