SALT LAKE CITY — The National Weather Service has issued a pair of winter weather advisories throughout Utah ahead of a storm system that is expected to bring about a foot of snow to mountainous areas across the state by Sunday.
The storm is also expected to make travel difficult on freeways and highways in high-elevation areas across Utah late Friday afternoon through Saturday and possibly early Sunday.
The latest storm is a system moving in from California through Nevada and into Utah. Rain and snow from the storm is expected to begin late Friday afternoon into the evening across the Wasatch Front and northern Utah, according to KSL meteorologist Kristen Van Dyke.
Here's the latest on the winter storm currently moving into the area. Significant mountain snow is still anticipated through Sunday morning, with travel impacts for some valleys and mountain valleys as well. #utwxpic.twitter.com/CRYTVdWrEw— NWS Salt Lake City (@NWSSaltLakeCity) January 22, 2021
Precipitation began in southern Utah earlier Friday and was expected to continue into the evening — with mostly rain in valleys and snow in high-elevation terrain. Meanwhile, snow expected in northern Utah's lower elevations will mostly accumulate Saturday morning into the early afternoon. The system is expected to completely pass through the state by early Sunday.
The National Weather Service advisory states that 8 to 16 inches of snow is expected in Utah's Wasatch and Uinta mountains, as well as the Wasatch Plateau/Book Cliffs region. It also projects 6 to 14 inches for Utah's southern and central mountains. The forecast states some spots throughout Utah may receive more than what was projected.
Most of the valley accumulation will be found in northern Utah. For instance, Van Dyke said that 6 inches of snow is projected for Logan between Friday evening and Sunday morning. Places like Tooele, Park City and Woodland Hills could receive about 4 inches, while areas like Salt Lake City, Morgan, Huntsville and Fairview may receive a couple of inches.
Some southern and central Utah valleys are forecast to receive anywhere from an inch in Cedar City to about 5 inches in Price by the time the storm has passed through, she added.
The storm could also make roads slick for most of the state Friday afternoon through Saturday. Motorists are urged to slow down and use caution while driving.
Utah Department of Transportation officials tweeted Friday afternoon that drivers who use freeways, highways and roads across the Cache Valley, most of the Wasatch Front including Salt Lake City and Provo, as well as high elevation in central and southern Utah and areas east of Monticello, should use high caution during that time frame.
Weather Alert Update: Mtn road snow has begun and will cont. at times through SAT PM. Periods of road snow for central/southern UT tonight. Band of mod to heavy snow along the Wasatch Front SAT AM. For more info: https://t.co/4P1gO1U0Gg#utsnow#utwxpic.twitter.com/19hHdfwIaT— UDOT Traffic (@UDOTTRAFFIC) January 22, 2021
"Winter driving conditions including snow-covered roads and reduced visibility can be expected along all mountain routes, including I-80 over Parleys Summit," the weather service said in its advisory. "Winter driving conditions including snow-covered roads and reduced visibility can be expected along all mountain routes. This includes the higher passes along I-15 through central and southwest Utah, and the higher passes along I-70 through central Utah."
The Utah Avalanche Center on Friday also issued an avalanche watch for Wasatch, Bear River Range and Uinta mountains.
"Heavy snowfall later Friday and Saturday will create dangerous avalanche conditions. Avalanche danger likely rising to HIGH by Saturday," the center tweeted.
Van Dyke said another system could reach Utah at the start of the next workweek. Full forecasts for areas across Utah can be found at the KSL Weather Center.