Road weather alert combined with winter weather advisory setting up for messy start to weekend

File photo by Unsplash, St. George News

ST. GEORGE — The National Weather Service in Salt Lake City and the Utah Department of Transportation both issued advisories Friday morning for winter conditions. The advisories come as Interstate 15 from north of Cedar City through to St. George has already experienced several slide-offs, and a crash was reported on state Route 59 just 4 miles south of Hurricane.

Weather alerts and advisories as of 8:32 a.m., March 12, 2021 | Map courtesy of National Weather Service – Salt Lake City office, St. George News | Click to enlarge

The UDOT road weather alert went into effect 6 a.m. Friday and is scheduled through noon Sunday. The section of I-15 from Interstate 70 through Cedar City and U.S. Highway 40 in the Uinta Basin will see road snow/slush Friday evening through Saturday morning. U.S. Highway 191 in southeast Utah from I-70 to Blanding will see their road snow/slush concerns more focus Saturday night into Sunday morning.

Northeast winds are forecast to bank into the north slope of the Uinta Mountains from Saturday through Sunday leading to heavy road snow accumulations possible near Manila and over the US-191 summit north of Vernal.

Motorists heading up canyon and mountain routes should be prepared for chain restrictions at any time during snow events.

The following routes will experience weather-related travel concerns during the forecast period:

  • I-15, I-70 through Cedar City.
  • I-80, near Wyoming.
  • I-70, entire route.
  • US-191, entire route.
  • US-40, entire route.
  • US-89 US-6 Jct. south to just north of Kanab.
  • US-6, I-15 Jct. over Soldier Summit to Helper

The road alert has been issued in conjunction winter weather advisory, which goes into effect 4 p.m. Friday and runs through 9 a.m. Saturday morning. According to the advisory, total accumulations of 3-6 inches are expected along the I-15 corridor, with 5-10 inches in the mountains. Snowfall will be most likely to stick to roadways overnight and during early morning hours.

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.



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