More advisories, warnings issued as another round of snow set to arrive in Utah
This map shows where winter weather warnings and winter weather warnings were issued in Utah for Tuesday and Wednesday. The pink areas are warnings, while the purple areas are notices. In the areas marked in yellow, the strongest winds are expected before the storm arrives on Tuesday afternoon. (National Weather Service)
Estimated reading time: 4-5 minutes
SALT LAKE CITY – If you felt like Utah didn’t get enough snow last week, another round of “World’s Greatest Snow” goes to Utah on Tuesday and stays through Wednesday morning.
The National Weather Service has reissued a series of winter storm warnings and winter weather warnings for a storm that is expected to bring up to 1½ to 2 feet of snow in mountains across the state and throw a few inches of snow across valleys nationwide.
The storm now heading for Utah is a little different from last week’s storm, said KSL meteorologist Kevin Eubank. The system moves from California through Nevada to Utah rather than from the northwest. He said strong winds across the state, causing gusts of up to 120 km / h in Ogden Peak on Monday, are expected to continue into the first half of the Tuesday before the storm.
Rain is expected to arrive in the state on Tuesday afternoon before a cold front begins bringing in snow as it sweeps through the state.
“By (Tuesday) night it turns to snow. We get a quick eruption in the night until early Wednesday morning and then everything moves out,” he said. “Highs will be in the 30s, lows will be in the teenage years.”
Weather services offices in Salt Lake City and Grand Junction, Colorado issued winter storm warnings covering various parts of the state, beginning at 5 p.m. Tuesday and through Wednesday morning. The various warnings cover high altitude areas from Logan Summit to the southern mountains to eastern Utah.
Alta, Alton, Brian Head, Brighton, Cove Fort, Dutch John, Fish Lake, Joes Valley, Manila, and Scofield are among the communities listed in the warnings.
The anticipated amounts of snow accumulation vary depending on the region. The warnings say the southern mountains can get 1 to 2 feet while the Wasatch, Western Uinta, and Central mountain ranges are expected to get 10 to 18 inches. The Abajo and La Sal Mountains, as well as areas in northeast Utah, are expected to gain 8 to 14 inches, according to the warnings.
Wind gusts of over 80 km / h are also expected. Travel to the higher areas of Utah is expected to range from “very difficult to impossible,” according to the weather service. Meteorologists added that the gusts of wind can “severely limit” visibility at times.
“If you have to travel, have an extra flashlight, food and water ready in your vehicle in case of an emergency,” advises the agency for areas within the warning.
Snow is forecast again in the valleys too. The winter weather alert covers most of the remaining parts of the state from Logan to Cedar City. The advisories begin on Tuesday at 11 p.m. and end on late Wednesday morning.
The total amount of snow is expected to be between 3 and 6 inches in areas such as Bryce Canyon, Heber City, Huntsville, Kanab, Park City, Panguitch, Randolph, Richfield, and Springdale. Other valleys in the Wasatch Front, Cache, Tooele, the central and southern regions are projected to total between 1 and 3 inches.
“Plan with slippery road conditions,” says the warning. “Slow down and be careful when traveling.”
The Utah Department of Transportation encourages motorists to exercise “high” levels of caution when traveling on I-15 from the Utah-Idaho state line to Washington County from Tuesday evening through early Wednesday afternoon. The same caution is recommended for motorists on I-80 and I-84 for areas east of the Wasatch Mountains.
Road weather warning: The nationwide winter storm will bring significant snow in the mountains and hit deeper valleys from Tuesday night through Wednesday afternoon. For more information: https://t.co/4P1gO2bC4Q#utwx#[email protected]/SAaUCeFMmW
– UDOT traffic (@UDOTTRAFFIC) December 13, 2021
Strong cross winds are also expected in Tooele County on Tuesday.
For those venturing into the mountains for recreation, the Utah Avalanche Center currently lists Utah’s mountains as a “significant” risk for avalanches.
It’s not over yet
But that’s not the end of the snow this week. Another storm is currently expected in northern Utah, which will likely affect the morning commute, according to Eubank.
The forecast can be a travel headache, but bodes well for the nationwide snowpack. The Natural Resources Conservation Service reported that Utah snowpack was 56% of normal on Monday evening.
“The mountains are refreshing and that’s a good thing,” said Eubank.
For full seven-day forecasts for areas across Utah, visit the KSL Weather Center.