Utah forecast predicts snowstorm to hit drivers on Wednesday

Don’t put the snow shovels away yet and be prepared for a potentially messy drive along the Wasatch Front on Wednesday, as more storms will affect northern Utah through Thursday.

Light snow is already falling in parts of northern Utah and is expected to increase in intensity steadily through Thursday morning.

While there may be a slight lull in storm activity Tuesday night, the Salt Lake City National Weather Service said rain and snow would resume just in time for motorists who are on the move Wednesday morning.

The storms are expected to affect the mountains of northern and central Utah, southwestern Wyoming and the valleys near the southern border of Idaho.

In a TravelWise weather alert, the Utah Department of Transportation warned that periods of mountain snowfall will impact travel in mountainous areas from 3 p.m. Tuesday to noon Thursday.

The agency warned that with cold temperatures on the road, snow will stick at all elevations and be particularly troublesome for the Logan and Sardine peaks.

Snow won’t be the only headache, according to weather officials.

Earlier Tuesday morning, the National Weather Service in Salt Lake City warned of gusts of 60 mph seen in the mountains of northern Utah and southwestern Wyoming. Gusts of wind produce whiteout conditions, making travel particularly dangerous. It warns motorists to avoid these areas if possible.

Storms could add up to 2 feet of fresh snow in some mountainous areas and are already producing milder temperatures, providing some relief from the freezing cold that blanketed the state over New Years weekend.

The city of Salt Lake City is expected to reach a mild high of 47 degrees on Friday, with lows reaching just 32 degrees.

There remains a slight chance of snow on Saturday, but on Sunday and Monday it will dry out and sub-zero temperatures will return to overnight lows, forecasters say.

According to a basin-wide snowpack map released by the Natural Resources Conservation Service’s Utah Snow Survey, recent storms have raised all basins to above-average snowpack, which is good news for a state that has suffered under the weight of a historic drought. like 16 other Western and Great Plains states.

The basin map shows some basins with incredibly high numbers, such as southwestern Utah which has 205% of normal and southeastern Utah at 158% of normal.

But the caveat is that it’s just over two weeks into the winter, and there’s still plenty of snow that is still needed to help Utah and other parts of the West come out in shape. after a year that saw water managers plunge into emergency water supplies to reservoirs, instituting drastic cuts in water deliveries and the first reported shortage on the Colorado River.

Water managers said it would take a few record years with well above average snow cover to counter the effects of what happened in 2021 and previous drought years.

So while Wednesday’s drive may be unpleasant, buckle up, tap into that winter driving wisdom and keep hoping for more storms.

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