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Tangie Walpole

Winter storm to hit all of Utah with snow

By Liesl Nielsen and Carter Williams, KSL.com | Updated - Feb 20th, 2019 @ 5:11pm | Posted - Feb 20th, 2019 @ 8:15am



SALT LAKE CITY — Add Zion National Park to the list of places bracing for a large snowstorm that's expected to hit all of Utah throughout the rest of the week.

Yes, southern Utah, which already received a few inches of snow over Presidents Day weekend, is expected to receive more snow as a part of the large storm. In fact, Zion National Park officials are expecting anywhere from 6 inches to 2 feet of snow from Wednesday through Friday — with higher elevations expected to have the most snow.

Officials are advising park visitors that a winter storm warning issued for the area will likely cause delays and closures at the park.

"The park will be clearing roads, with the priorities being the facilities in lower Zion Canyon and the Zion Canyon Scenic Drive from the South Entrance through Canyon Junction and to the Zion Lodge in order to maintain emergency service access to park facilities," Zion National Park spokeswoman Aly Baltrus wrote in a statement.

Snow has already caused problems for other places in the state. Utah Highway Patrol troopers have investigated about 32 crashes across the state, as of about 9 a.m. Wednesday.

"Remember: Winter driving boils down to leaving yourself reaction time. The faster you go and the closer you follow that vehicle in front of you, the less reaction time you have. So, slow down and increasing following distance," UHP tweeted.

Here's what Utahns can expect from the latest storm expected to slam the state:

Southern and central Utah

Kolob Canyons Road at Zion National Park was closed due to snow Wednesday afternoon. In a tweet, park officials wrote they expected the road would remain closed "for a few days."

Until roads can be safely plowed, Baltrus warned Zion National Park visitors that delays should be expected on the Mount Carmel Highway from the east entrance at the park, through the tunnel and to Canyon Junction. Delays are also expected for Zion Canyon Scenic Drive north of the Zion Lodge.

She added weather could close or delay the opening times of the Zion Canyon Visitor Center and Kolob Canyons Visitor Center.

The Zion-Mount Carmel Highway will close at 7 p.m. Wednesday in anticipation of the storm, park officials said on Twitter. The road will be closed between Canyon Junction and the east entrance of the park, officials said.

The Zion Scenic Drive will also close at 7 p.m. north of Zion Lodge, officials said.

Other parts of southern and central areas of the state — even St. George — are under a winter storm warning, and the mountains in the area are expected to get 1 to 2 feet of snow Wednesday through Friday, according to KSL Weather. The Dixie area should expect 3 to 6 inches of snow while Cedar City can expect 6 to 12 inches.

There will be "statewide road snow" through Wednesday and Thursday, but southern Utah will bear the brunt of that, according to the Utah Department of Transportation.

Southeastern Utah will experience "road snow," especially along stretches of U.S. 191 from Moab to the Arizona state line late Wednesday afternoon through Thursday, UDOT said.

UDOT Region 4 officials warned that state Route 31 through Huntington Canyon could close Thursday due to the risk of avalanches.

Interstate 15 will experience road snow across the state, especially from Scipio Summit south to Arizona. The area near the I-15 and I-70 junction at Cove Fort will also see "decent amounts of road snow" Wednesday afternoon through Thursday.

The southern mountains, the U.S. 89 valley from Panguitch to Kanab and the I-70 passes and summits over the San Rafael Swell will experience serious winter weather, as well, UDOT reported.

Northern Utah

Continued snowfall from the Idaho border to Layton impacted the morning commute in northern Utah on Wednesday, and KSL Traffic reported winter driving conditions in Weber and north Davis counties. The drive time in some areas was even doubled.

Several cars spun out, and officials urged commuters to slow down.

The Utah Transit Authority announced some changes to bus routes in northern Utah as well, especially those servicing Weber State and North Ogden, but the only bus left on snow routing as of 9:30 a.m. is Route 625 that services the loop to Benedicts Manor.

School in the Weber and Ogden school districts was not canceled Wednesday, but if parents in Weber County choose to keep their children home, the absence will be excused and homework can be made up, the district tweeted.

Students in Ogden will not be marked tardy during first period due to weather delays. Some school buses were also delayed Wednesday, the district said.

Wasatch Front

The Wasatch Front will see plenty of snow on the roads, especially through Wednesday, UDOT officials said.

Liesl Nielsen
Carter Williams

KSL Weather Forecast