Up to 7-17 inches of snow expected in higher elevations across Southern Utah

ST. GEORGE A winter weather advisory has been issued for higher elevations across Garfield, Kane, Beaver, Iron and Washington counties starting Wednesday evening.

Snow totaling between 7 and 17 inches is expected from between 6 p.m. Wednesday and 6 a.m. Friday across the areas of the Wasatch Plateau, Book Cliffs, central mountains and southern mountains.

That includes the cities of Scofield, Cove Fort, Koosharem, Fish Lake, Loa, Panguitch and Bryce Canyon.

The highest accumulations are expected in the southeast.

The NWS advises that travel could be difficult, particularly over higher elevation routes.

Map showing the area impacted by the winter weather advisory issued for March 20-22, 2019 | Image courtesy of the National Weather Service, St. George News

Some common routes that could see challenging travel conditions include state Route 14, US-89 between Hillsdale and Glendale, state Route 12, Interstate 70, U.S. 6 and U.S. 191.

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. The Utah Department of Transportation 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: mkessler@stgnews.com

Twitter: @MoriKessler

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