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Lots of snow expected in Utah through Thanksgiving holidays

By Jacob Klopfenstein, KSL.com | Updated - Nov 27th, 2019 @ 9:55am | Posted - Nov 27th, 2019 @ 7:53am



SALT LAKE CITY — More snow is expected to begin Wednesday across the Wasatch Front as Utah prepares for treacherous Thanksgiving travel conditions.

The snow will move into Utah Wednesday and is expected to stall over the state from Brigham City to Cedar City on Wednesday night, according to the National Weather Service. Heavier snow will be present on the Wasatch Front Thursday, the weather service said.

Storm outlook

On Friday, the snow, again, will continue at various times throughout the day. Precipitation will gradually diminish Saturday, according to the weather service.

By the weekend, the valleys of northern Utah will see between 5 and 10 inches of snow, according to KSL Meteorologist Grant Weyman. Benches could see up to 18 inches, and some areas of the mountains could see 3 feet of snow.

"We’re basically looking at waves of snow at times today, at times tomorrow, at times Friday," Weyman said. "So by the time we get to the weekend, a lot of us could have between 5 and 10 inches of snow on the ground, the mountains 1-3 feet of snow. But again that’s not all going to happen today, that’s going to be at times through the end of the week."

Downtown Salt Lake City will see most of the winter activity Thursday, Weyman said. Another part of the storm will be moving into the area and winds will shift on Thanksgiving day, allowing for more winter weather to start in Salt Lake City, he said.

Higher elevation areas, such as Park City and Sardine Canyon, will be more heavily impacted Wednesday, Weyman added.

Wind gusts are affecting northern Utah today, with gusts of 30-45 miles per hour present in some areas, Weyman said.

Travel impacts

Wednesday is the heaviest travel day of Thanksgiving week, according to the Utah Department of Public Safety.

Holiday traffic on I-15 in Utah is expected to be at its heaviest between 2 and 7 p.m. Wednesday, the agency said. Travelers are advised to leave earlier in the day or late in the evening to avoid delays.

After Thanksgiving, travel activity will be highest from 3-7 p.m. on Sunday, the Department of Public Safety said.

The winter weather will impact roads throughout the state for the rest of the week, according to the Utah Department of Transportation. All mountain routes, as well as most valley roads, will be affected.

As of 8 a.m. Wednesday, tire chains or four-wheel drive is required in Big Cottonwood and Little Cottonwood canyons, according to UDOT.

In southern Utah, state Route 143 is closed from Brian Head to Mammoth Springs due to weather conditions. In Wyoming, U.S. Highway 191 is closed in both directions from I-80 to the Utah-Wyoming state line due to weather conditions.

In bad weather conditions, UDOT advises people to drive under the speed limit, increase following distance, avoid quick stops, starts and turns and buckle seatbelts.

One trooper's car was hit in Summit County on Wednesday morning, Utah Highway Patrol tweeted. Fortunately, the trooper was not in the car at the time, the agency said. In a separate incident, a Summit County Sheriff's Deputy's car was narrowly missed by a driver on I-80 westbound, Sheriff Justin Martinez said on Twitter.

At least six other troopers' cars have been hit while troopers have been helping drivers, according to UHP Col. Michael Rapich.

Drivers are required to slow down and move over for emergency vehicles that are stopped on the sides of roads, according to the Department of Public Safety.

Follow the KSL Traffic Center on Twitter @KSLTraffic for up-to-date information. More traffic updates are available from UDOT at udottraffic.utah.gov. Get the full weather forecast at ksl.com/weather.

Jacob Klopfenstein

KSL Weather Forecast