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UDOT ready to start plowing snow overnight

Snow plows work Jan. 28, 2013, to clear streets in Salt Lake City following a snow storm. The Utah Department of Transportation is preparing to bring out the snow plows Monday night in mountain areas. (Scott G Winterton, Deseret News)



Estimated read time: 2-3 minutes

SALT LAKE CITY — When the rain turns to snow, some Utahns could find themselves driving on slick roads.

Monday night could be the first long night of the year for snow plow drivers across northern and central Utah.

"These storms really mark the transition into the winter season. It's not quite winter yet, but it's knocking on our door," said John Gleason, a spokesman for the Utah Department of Transportation.

The storm temperature and road temperatures should not really be cold enough to create driving problems in the valleys, but mountain areas in northern and central Utah could see snow — anywhere from 8 to 18 inches deep.

"Our crews are getting ready right now," Gleason said. "Overnight, they will be out in the high elevations and Big and Little Cottonwood Canyon, Parleys Canyon."

That's when the colder part of the storm will get started.

Bench areas and high mountain roads could get pretty slick.

"This storm is hitting a little bit earlier. We usually see these types of storms happen later in October, but the salt is all in place, our crews are ready to go, and they're gonna be ready for tomorrow morning," the spokesman said.

For those who live or travel in central Utah, plan ahead.

"The driving conditions down there could be dicey, and we're putting out some weather advisories later on this evening, just to let people know what they're in store for," said Gleason.

Plow crews may pre-treat high elevation roads with a brine solution to keep the snow from accumulating.

"Even up in the higher elevations, we shouldn't see too much of an issue there with snow plows being able to keep up. But it is a very good reminder for people to slow down," said Gleason.

The UDOT spokesman said to make sure your vehicle is ready with properly inflated tires, adequate tread and working windshield wipers.

If you're traveling any kind of distance, bring a warm blanket, food and water.

"Just in case the worst case scenario does happen and you get stuck, or you run out of gas, or have a flat tire," said Gleason. "Make sure that you're ready."

All mountain passes remain open for now, with the exception of Guardsman Pass, which is temporarily closed due to recent snowfall.

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Jed Boal

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