The National Weather Service issued two alerts Wednesday afternoon warning of high winds followed by a cold front that is expected to bring snow.
Residents can expect winds of 30 to 40 mph with gusts in excess of 60 mph, beginning as early as 9 p.m. Wednesday. The warning is in effect throughout the evening. Winds will peak early Thursday morning before diminishing by midday, the alert states.
Affected areas include, west-central and southwest Utah.
Significant cross winds will likely impact travel along east and west routes including. U.S. Highway 6 and state Route 21. High profile and lightweight vehicles will be most susceptible. Isolated areas of dust storms are possible, at times having the potential to cut visibilities to under one mile.
“Drivers in high-profile vehicles or light-weight vehicles need to make sure they use caution and slow down,” Gower said. “I would also suggest drivers who hit a dust storm and have no visibility get off the road in a safe place as quick as they can and wait it out. If a driver can’t see their hood ornament on their car or truck, they shouldn’t be driving. Just find an exit as soon as you can and pull over. The main thing is, slow down and don’t try to drive normal speeds in this type of weather.”
Motorists should also take extra caution when crossing bridges, overpasses and unsheltered areas.
Additionally, property owners should secure anything outdoors that has the potential to blow away such as patio furniture or umbrellas.
Winter Weather Advisory
A cold front is forecasted for Thursday afternoon into Friday afternoon and is expected to bring 5 to 10 inches of snow in central and Southern Utah.
While Iron County residents are likely to see a light snowfall, most of it will be in the higher elevations above 6,000 feet, Meteorologist Christine Kruse with the Utah National Weather Service said.
“Drivers traveling north on Interstate 15 will be affected starting just outside of Cedar City,” Kruse said.
Freezing temperatures of 25 degrees and below are anticipated through both Thursday and Friday nights. High pressure is expected to bring a warming trend over the weekend, with another cold storm system expected late Monday into Tuesday.
Winter isn’t over either, so don’t plan on getting the swimsuits out of the drawer yet. The National Weather Service is predicting more cold fronts and possible snow to move in over the coming weeks.
“We are expecting more cold fronts and maybe even more snow,” Kruse said. “It’s definitely not time to plant a garden. We still have a few weeks left. We can still get freezing temperatures for a while. So, if people want to plant now they should be looking at vegetables that can withstand the cold.”
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