National Weather Service issues high wind, winter weather advisories for most of Southern Utah

Near Interstate 15 Exit 40, Southern Utah, Feb. 5, 2019 | Photo courtesy of Rebecca Guillen, St. George News / Cedar City News

SOUTHERN UTAH — The National Weather Service has issued both high wind and winter weather advisories for most of Southern Utah that will include snow accumulations up to 10 inches in some areas with wind gusts of 55 mph that may cause areas of blowing snow and low visibility.

The National Weather Service has issue wind and winter weather advisories for Utah starting 10 p.m. Tuesday | Image courtesy of National Weather Service – Salt Lake City office, St. George News | Click to enlarge

The advisories begin at 10 p.m. Tuesday and will lasting through at least 6 p.m. Wednesday night, with portions of Washington County lasting until 10 p.m.

The winter weather advisory will affect portions of Washington, Iron, Beaver, Kane and Garfield counties. Snow accumulations of 2-6 inches are possible in lower elevations, with 6 to 10 inches expected in central and southern mountains. Higher amounts are possible in some areas, and wind gusts as high as 60 mph are expected.

Travelers in southwest Utah, particularly those on the Interstate 15 corridor should plan on difficult conditions caused by gusty winds, poor visibility and snow packed roads.

Poor visibility, gusty winds and snow packed roads could make travel difficult in many areas.

The wind advisory is in effect from 10 p.m. Tuesday until 6 p.m. Wednesday for parts of Beaver, Washington and Iron counties, including the cities of Beaver, Cedar City, Fillmore and Milford. Winds from the northwest from 20 to 30 mph are expected with gusts up to 55 mph.

High profile vehicles should expect difficult travel and isolated power outages are also possible. Downed tree limbs and minor property damage may occur and everyone needs to make sure they secure the loose items around their property.

Starting at 6 a.m. Wednesday morning, Utah’s Dixie and south central Utah including the cities of Green River, Hanksville, St. George, Kanab and Escalante will also be affected and should prepare for gusty conditions.

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.

A wind advisory means that sustained wind speeds of at least 31 mph or gusts of 45 mph are expected. Motorists in the advisory area should be prepared for sudden gusty cross winds which can make driving difficult.

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.

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.

For the most current conditions, warnings and advisories, go to the National Weather Service-Salt Lake City office website.

Email: [email protected]

Twitter: @STGnews | @andrewjpinckney

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2019, all rights reserved.

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