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Wasatch Front residents advised to stay off the roads Wednesday morning due to winter storm

A winter storm warning is in effect for the Salt Lake and Tooele valleys through Wednesday evening.

(Leah Hogsten | The Salt Lake Tribune) Unified Police Department officers held up canyon traffic for a hour and a half on Tuesday as avalanche mitigation efforts were underway at the Carter Fork, Mineral Slab and Rock House areas of Big Cottonwood Canyon, Feb 16, 2021. A winter weather advisory remains in effect through Wednesday at 11 a.m. along the Wasatch Front and in the Tooele Valley.

The unsettled weather the Wasatch Front has been experiencing in recent days doesn’t look to be stopping anytime soon. Due to a coming storm, Utahns are advised to stay home in the hours before 10 a.m. Wednesday.

The Utah Department of Transportation spokesman issued a travel advisory Tuesday night asking people across the Wasatch Front to not drive until after 10 a.m. Wednesday if possible. UDOT spokesman John Gleason said 4 to 6 inches of snow could fall on roads in Salt Lake, Davis and Tooele counties, making it difficult for plows to keep up. He said Parleys Canyon could see 8 inches of snow, while the Cottonwood Canyons might see a foot or two.

Gov. Spencer Cox said on Twitter that people should work from home Wednesday if they can.

Utah Highway Patrol Lt. Nick Street said low temperatures might cause ice to form on roads on Tuesday night and Wednesday. He advised motorists to drive slowly.

“Now is not the time to drive with bald tires or at the posted speed limit,” he said.

Alta Ski Resort reported 25 inches of snow on Tuesday while Park City Mountain reported 10 inches. A winter storm warning from the National Weather Service is in effect until 5 p.m. Wednesday for the Salt Lake and Tooele valleys.

Because of the weather, COVID-19 vaccinations through the Salt Lake County Health Department have been postponed. All appointments for Wednesday have been moved to Sunday at the same time and location, according to the health department. People who can’t attend their new Sunday time can call 385-468-7468 to reschedule.

The Canyons School District announced Tuesday night that its schools will be closed Wednesday due to the weather, and classes will be held online. Other districts have not yet announced changes to their plans.

Avalanche danger is now at “extreme” levels in northern Utah, according to the Utah Avalanche Center, and skiers aren’t the only ones who need to be cautious. Anyone in the mountains for any reason, including snowshoeing or dog walking, should avoid being near or under a steep slope.

UAC forecaster Nikki Champion said there was widespread avalanche activity on Tuesday, but no people were caught in avalanches as far as she knows. She said the center will have a better idea of the total number of avalanches in the next day or two.

Many of Tuesday’s avalanches occurred in the Cottonwood canyons.

The Utah Department of Transportation closed SR-210 through Little Cottonwood Canyon to all traffic on Tuesday for avalanche control, and later announced the road will remain closed until Wednesday morning because of avalanche danger. SR-190 through Big Cottonwood Canyon will be closed overnight too, but the road will likely be reopened early Wednesday morning, UDOT tweeted.

In southern Utah, SR-143 is closed between mileposts 18 and 28, according to UDOT. That closure is expected to remain in place until Monday.

After a “brief period of high pressure” and partly sunny skies on Thursday, another winter storm is expected to move into northern Utah on Friday, with rain changing to snow.