Winter weather, flood advisories issued as winds give way to rain, snow in Utah

A TRAX train moves through the rain in downtown Salt Lake City Monday night. A flood advisory was issued for Salt Lake City Monday.

A TRAX train moves through the rain in downtown Salt Lake City Monday night. A flood advisory was issued for Salt Lake City Monday. (Carter Williams, KSL.com)



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SALT LAKE CITY — Strong winds that picked up Sunday night have created havoc for some drivers Monday, but rain and snow will be a bigger headache for motorists Monday night into Tuesday morning, forecasters say.

The National Weather Service issued multiple winter weather advisories that stretch across high-terrain areas from Utah's northern to southern state lines that go into effect Monday evening, as over a foot of snow is expected in some parts of the state. The weather service also issued a flood advisory for parts of the Wasatch Front, where heavy rain is expected in lesser-elevated areas.

More rain and snow arrive

A storm that arrived in Utah Monday evening is the atmospheric river event that has already dumped heavy rain and snow across California and Nevada as it moves east. It dumped multiple feet of snow in the Sierra Nevada range, said KSL meteorologist Grant Weyman.

The brunt of the storm is expected to provide heavy precipitation overnight.

"By (Monday night), it gets pretty heavy," Weyman said. "That's going to extend all the way down through St. George, as well, and the middle of the state. The interesting piece comes late (Monday night), when ... the air gets colder. Yes, it does look like we'll get more snow in our mountains down to the benches. I think most of the valleys are looking wet and there might even be snow mixing in with it a bit."

The weather service's winter weather advisories cover the Wasatch, Central, Southern and Uinta mountains, including the areas of Alta, Alton, Brian Head, Brighton, Cove Fort, Fish Lake, Joes Valley, Logan Summit, Mantua, Mirror Lake Highway and Moon Lake. Anywhere from 4 to 12 inches are expected in Utah's mountains, with the most snow accumulation expected in the Wasatch Mountains.

The weather service tweeted a model that shows 12 to 18 inches of snow are projected at Alta between Monday evening and Tuesday afternoon.

Brian Head, as well as the Pavant, Tushar and Western Uinta ranges, are all forecast to receive up to a foot of snow. Ben Lomond and Tony Grove are expected to receive up to 8 inches of snow, too.

The advisory states "slippery road conditions and difficult travel" conditions are expected overnight in the Cottonwood Canyons in the Wasatch Mountain area, as well as other highways like state Routes 14, 143 and 153 in southern Utah.

"Backcountry users should be prepared for heavy, wet snow, rapidly falling temperatures and gusty winds," it adds.

Shortly after 9:15 p.m. Monday, the weather service issued a flood advisory for northwestern Salt Lake County, eastern Davis County and central Weber County that went into effect immediately after radars "indicated widespread moderate rain." Impacted areas include Salt Lake City, Bountiful, Farmington and Ogden.

"Expect urban areas and poor drainage areas to experience standing water and ponding," the alert states.

Another model released by the weather service Monday shows that Salt Lake City is expected to receive 1.25 to 1.75 inches of rain between Monday and Tuesday evening. Many parts of central and northern Utah are also expected to receive up to or more than an inch of rain from the storm."

Strong winds fade

A high wind warning and wind advisory issued in Utah expired Monday evening with the arrival of the storm. The weather service recorded multiple wind gusts exceeding 60 mph in Tooele Monday, as well as strong gusts in Delta, Beaver and Cedar City.

Utah Highway Patrol troopers said they responded to "multiple" reports of semitrucks blown over on I-80 in Tooele County Monday. No severe injuries were reported; however, the incidents resulted in travel delays for motorists traveling both eastbound and westbound.

Weyman said the wind came from the south, which meant it's cutting across vehicles traveling east and west along I-80.

"Plus the Salt Flats, the low points — there's nothing to stop the winds, so it usually picks up there," he explained.

Areas across the Wasatch Front, Wasatch Backcountry and northern Utah remain in a wind advisory, where gusts up to 55 mph are forecast through the afternoon into the evening in some places. Both the warning and advisory expired at 9 p.m. Monday.

Halloween outlook

Utah is expected to dry out the rest of the week — although some rain showers are possible along the Wasatch Front and northern Utah heading into the Halloween weekend.

The forecast calls for high temperatures to return to the upper 50s into the low 60s in northern Utah and the Wasatch Front. In southern Utah, high temperatures are expected to reach the mid-60s with sunny skies for the remainder of the week in Cedar City; highs temperatures are expected to return into the 70s for St. George.

Full seven-day forecasts for areas across Utah can be found at the KSL Weather Center.

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