The National Weather Service issued winter weather advisories and watches for a wide swath of Utah that will be in effect until Wednesday — and is warning commuters to be on alert.
Northern and central Utah valleys can expect 2-6 inches of snow, which will affect commutes Wednesday morning, and the mountains will be hit with 20 inches or more.
The Utah Avalanche Center issued a backcountry avalanche watch until 6 a.m. Wednesday. The winter storm “could create very dangerous avalanche conditions” in northern Utah mountains. Both human-triggered and natural avalanches are likely and people should avoid traveling in avalanche terrain and “stay off and out from under slopes steeper than 30 degrees.”
Winter weather advisories
According to the National Weather Service, winter weather advisories are issued when snow, blowing snow, ice, sleet or a combination of wintry elements is expected but conditions should not be hazardous enough to merit a warning. Be prepared for winter driving conditions and possible travel difficulties in these areas:
• Salt Lake Valley, Utah Valley, Tooele Valley and Rush Valley — including Salt Lake City, West Jordan, Sandy, Tooele, Grantsville, Vernon, Provo, Payson and areas in between — until 5 p.m. Wednesday. Snow accumulations of 2-6 inches are expected, with higher amounts along the benches.
• Eastern Box Elder County, northern Wasatch Front and the Cache Valley, including the cities of Brigham City, Snowville, Ogden, Bountiful, Logan and Smithfield, until 11 a.m. Wednesday. Snow accumulations of 3-6 inches are expected, with higher amounts possible on the benches.
• Eastern Juab County, Millard County and Sanpete Valley, including the cities of Nephi, Scipio, Fillmore, Manti, Ephraim and Mount Pleasant, until 11 p.m. Wednesday. Total snow accumulations of 3-6 inches are expected, with greatest amounts in the northeastern Sanpete Valley.
• Wasatch Back, including the cities of Huntsville, Park City and Heber City, until 11 p.m. Wednesday. Total snow accumulations of 4-10 inches are expected, with locally higher amounts.
• Western Uinta Mountains, Wasatch Plateau/Book Cliffs and central mountains until 11 p.m. Wednesday. Snow accumulations of 7-17 inches are expected.
Winter weather warnings
Warnings are issued for a significant winter weather event, including snow, ice, sleet or blowing snow or a combination of hazards. Travel will become difficult or impossible in some situations, and the National Weather Service recommends delaying trips until conditions improve.
• A warning remains in effect in the Wasatch Mountains north of Interstate 80 until 5 p.m. Wednesday. Heavy snow — 10-20 inches — is expected.
• Another warning is in effect in the Wasatch Mountains south of I-80 until 5 p.m. Wednesday. Snow accumulations of 12-22 inches are expected, with more in some areas.
In addition to the snow, temperatures will be unseasonably cold — up to 20-25 degrees below normal in Salt Lake City. The National Weather Service forecasts a high of 39 degrees and a low of 14 on Wednesday; 29/13 on Thursday; 37/22 on Friday; 47/22 on Saturday; and 50/31 on Sunday.
Normal highs in Salt Lake City are 53-55; normal lows are 35-36.
There’s a slight chance of rain mixed with snow in southern Utah on Wednesday night into Thursday morning, but little or no accumulation is expected.
Temperatures will be closer to average in southern Utah, but still about 10-20 degrees below normal. The forecast for St. George calls for 62/34 on Wednesday; 46/25 on Thursday; and 59/32 on Friday.
Normal highs in St. George are 66-67; normal lows are 37-39. St. George will get there on Saturday (66/38) and slightly above there on Sunday (69/41).