ST. GEORGE — High winds and snow are expected to complicate travel Sunday and Monday in areas throughout the state, including parts of Southern Utah.
The National Weather Service in Salt Lake City issued a wind advisory in effect from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Sunday.
The NWS is also advising of a cold front that will pass through the state Sunday, bringing with it snow to northern and central Utah regions Sunday night into Monday.
The wind advisory affects west central and southwest Utah, including the cities of Delta, Fillmore, Beaver, Cedar City and Milford.
Road snow/slush is expected throughout northern Utah and is also possible over the higher summits along Interstate 15 from south of Nephi to Beaver and also along Interstate 70, according to the Utah Department of Transportation.
Southwest gusts of up to 55 mph will shift to the northwest late Sunday afternoon and evening.
Crosswinds are expected to be especially strong on U.S. Route 50 and state Routes 21 and 56. High-profile vehicles and those towing trailers will be most impacted. Additionally, blowing dust is likely to reduce visibility.
The cold front is expected to push through Utah Sunday afternoon and evening, reaching the Beaver area between 4-5 p.m., according to UDOT.
As the cold front pushes through, much colder air will filter in behind the front and change showers over to snow for all locations. Snow showers will become moderate behind the front for a few hours, with areas of valley road snow/slush developing.
Southern Utah roads likely to be affected by the slushy road conditions from Sunday afternoon to Monday morning include the following routes:
- Interstate 15 from south of Nephi to Beaver.
- State Route 143 over Brian Head Flats, Parowan to Panguitch.
- State Route 153 to Puffer Lake/Eagle Point.
- State Route 14 over SR-14 Summit, Cedar City to Long Valley Jct./US-89.
- State Route 20 over SR-20 Summit, between US-89 and Interstate 15 at milepost 95.
A complete list of routes affected in northern Utah areas can be found on the UDOT website.
Vehicle preparation and safety precautions for winter weather driving.
- Be aware of road conditions. UDOT recommends checking CommuterLink or UDOT’s current road conditions of calling 511 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.
- 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.
The above recommendations were compiled in 2015 from the Washington County Sheriff’s Search and Rescue website, the Center for Disease Control’s emergency winter weather checklist and the U.S. Search and Rescue Task Force’s website on blizzard preparedness. This is a list of suggestions, in no particular order of priority, and should not be presumed exhaustive.
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