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Warnings, advisories issued ahead of Utah snowstorm's 2nd wave

This map shows where winter weather advisories and warnings have been issued for Utah Tuesday and Wednesday. Pink represents winter storm warning, while purple means winter storm advisory. The dark brown in northern Utah is where there is a wind advisory, while the tan is where there is possible hazardous weather.

This map shows where winter weather advisories and warnings have been issued for Utah Tuesday and Wednesday. Pink represents winter storm warning, while purple means winter storm advisory. The dark brown in northern Utah is where there is a wind advisory, while the tan is where there is possible hazardous weather. (National Weather Service)


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SALT LAKE CITY — Ready for more snow?

The National Weather Service issued a series of warnings and advisories for all over Utah ahead of another wave of a storm system that was expected to impact the state Tuesday afternoon into Wednesday, adding several inches of snow in valleys and as much as 1 to 2 feet of new snow in some mountain areas. Central and southern Utah are expected to be the hardest hit but parts of northern Utah are included in the advisories.

"This is going to be the focus of the next storm coming in," said KSL meteorologist Grant Weyman. "It's already starting in the mountains, but through the afternoon, evening and into (Wednesday), the snow is going to dump in these areas — central valleys, eastern valleys, southwestern valleys."

The weather service also issued a high wind warning for the northern portion of the Wasatch Front, where wind gusts exceeded 70 mph in some parts of the region early Wednesday.

High wind warnings were downgraded to advisories about 7 a.m. Wednesday and extended until 10 a.m.

Central and southern Utah

The weather service's mix of winter storm warnings and winter weather advisories cover nearly all parts of Utah south of the Wasatch Front — from Nephi to St. George, and are parts of eastern Utah south of Uintah County.

The winter storm warnings, which went into effect late Tuesday morning, cover the southern and southeast mountains, parts of the southwest valleys and even parts of south-central Utah. Communities like Alton, Beaver, Brian Head, Bryce Canyon, Cedar City, Monticello and Springdale are included in the alerts.

The storm is expected to provide between 3 and 10 inches in the valley areas, and 1 to 2 feet in the mountains, according to the warning. Wind gusts are expected to reach 40 to 50 mph, resulting in blowing snow at times. The warnings expire late Wednesday afternoon.

The winter weather advisories cover the rest of central, eastern and southern regions, including St. George, which may receive up to 2 inches of snow.

The central mountain areas like Cove Fort, Fish Lake, Joes Valley and Scofield, which are more accustomed to receiving snow, are forecast to receive 6 to 12 inches of snow by Wednesday evening. Valley areas like Delta, Fillmore, Green River, Panguitch, Nephi, Price and Scipio are forecast to receive 3 to 5 inches.

Northern Utah

Monday's storm ended up producing 7 inches of snow at places like Alta. It helped stabilize Utah's overall snowpack, which is now at 83% of normal as of noon Tuesday, according to the Natural Resources Conservation Service.

Utah drivers then got a dose of lake effect snow Tuesday morning, which resulted in dozens of mostly minor crashes on slick roads in Davis and Salt Lake counties. Several crashes on northbound Interstate 215 resulted in a closure of the freeway at 3500 South in West Valley City for over an hour before the last of the crashes were cleared.

The weather service reports as much as 3 inches of snow fell in parts of Davis County.

The region is forecast to receive more snow Tuesday evening but not as much as parts of the state south of Utah County.

"It's going to clip by the Salt Lake Valley and Utah County, with a chance of snow (overnight) and into (Wednesday)," Weyman said.

Anywhere from another 8 to 12 inches is now expected in the Wasatch Mountains. A new weather service model, released Tuesday, projects 2 to 9 inches in Park City; 2 to 5 inches in Heber City and 2 to 3 inches in Provo. Salt Lake City up to Ogden could end up anywhere from a trace to 2 inches of snow, while parts north of it have a chance for possibly up to 1 inch.

Strong winds are likely a more prominent problem Tuesday evening, especially in northern Utah. The weather service amended its wind advisory to a high wind warning for parts of Davis, Weber and Cache counties; however, strong wind gusts are expected in Salt Lake County, too.

Wind gusts are expected to possibly reach 65 mph in areas like Farmington, Logan, Ogden and Weber canyons, according to the warning. Residents are urged to secure any loose outdoor objects.

Parts of Box Elder County are included in a new wind advisory, that notes gusts up to 50 mph are possible.

Wind gusts in excess of 50 mph near Evanston caused areas of reduced visibility due to blowing snow. Wind chills in the area were reported to be near 25 below zero.

Winds were also gusting to 53 mph near the mouth of Parleys Canyon, the National Weather Service reported.

Travel impacts

Utah Highway Patrol troopers said they have responded to 130 crashes as of 4 p.m. Tuesday, between the lake effect snow and arriving storm. The Utah Department of Transportation issued a new weather alert earlier Tuesday afternoon that remains in effect through all of Wednesday because of snow.

"Heavy road snow should be anticipated across portions of southern Utah, especially over all mountains, (the) Cove Fort/Interstate 70 junction area, southward to Cedar City and higher portions of I-70," the alert states. "Lower elevation routes including in/around St. George and west near Lake Powell will also see snow with the threat for light road snow/slush late overnight through early Wednesday."

Motorists are encouraged to use "extra caution" on roads in northern Utah on Tuesday evening, especially if driving high-profile vehicles, because of the strong wind gusts forecast in the region, the weather service added.

The highways most likely to be impacted through Wednesday night are:

  • I-15: Salt Lake City to Hurricane
  • I-70: Entire route in Utah
  • I-80: Parley's Canyon to Utah-Wyoming border
  • U.S. 6: Entire route in Utah
  • U.S. 40: Entire route in Utah
  • U.S. 89: Thistle to Utah-Arizona border
  • U.S. 189: Provo Canyon
  • U.S. 191: Entire route in Utah
  • State Route 12: Entire route
  • State Route 14: Entire route
  • State Route 18: Entire route
  • State Route 20: Entire route
  • State Route 56: Entire route
  • State Route 143: Entire route
  • State Route 153: Entire route
  • State Route 190: Big Cottonwood Canyon
  • State Route 210: Little Cottonwood Canyon

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

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Carter Williams is a reporter who covers general news, local government, outdoors, history and sports for KSL.com.

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