SOUTHERN UTAH — With a relative lull in the early morning snow in Southern Utah’s higher elevations, the National Weather Service is anticipating another mixture of rain and snow beginning Monday morning.

File photo of snow in Brian Head as a storm moves across Southern Utah, prompting wind chill and winter weather advisories from the National Weather Service, Jan. 7, 2024 | Photo courtesy of Erin Wyson, St. George News

“The cold front over Southern Utah returns northward as a warm front due to a trailing shortwave,” the weather alert stated. “Snow will be most widespread Monday morning, but periods of snow will remain likely through the afternoon. Anticipate another lull Sunday evening and overnight with some additional snow, generally light, moving through Monday, with the best coverage late morning through early afternoon.”

Last night’s blustery storm brought 2-inches of snow to Cedar City, with Pine Valley receiving 5-inches, Beaver 8-inches and Brian Head reporting 1-foot of new powder.

Monday’s storm will bring more rain into Southern Utah’s lower elevations and snow to communities 5,500-6000 feet above sea level, the weather service predicts.

Avalanche warning 

Stock photo.| Photo by Credit:
med_ved/iStock/Getty Images Plus, St. George News

A fast-moving cold front delivered 8-inches of new snow, strong winds and an increase in avalanche danger. Utah Avalanche Center’s Dave Garcia reports avalanche danger in higher elevations as “considerable.”

“Skiers and riders are likely to trigger avalanches in recent deposits of wind-drifted snow,” the alert stated. “This problem is most pronounced on leeward slopes that face W-N-E where you can find drifts 12-18 inches deep. Swirling winds deposit fresh drifts around the compass and the remaining slopes have a moderate danger. It is possible to trigger slabs of wind-drifted snow at all aspects and elevations.

Persistent weak layers of faceted snow exist at the base of the pack on slopes that face W-N-E-SE, Garcia noted. These layers will be stressed and potentially overloaded by blowing and drifting snow. The danger on these slopes is considerable.

“Careful snowpack evaluation, cautious route-finding and conservative decision-making are essential for backcountry travel today,” the media release stated.

File photo of a crew clean up of tree fallen from high-wind storm on Main Street, St. George, Utah, Sept. 1, 2023 | Photo by Joseph Witham, St. George News

The National Weather Service also downgraded the conditions on the wind advisory previously issued for high winds on Saturday night.

The high wind warning in the areas of Bryce Canyon National Park, Capitol Reef National Park, Canyonlands National Park and the Glen Canyon Recreation Area has been canceled.

This includes the cities of Kanab, Escalante, Loa, Torrey, Hanksville, Big Water and Bullfrog.

“Winds have weakened below warning criteria, thus the High Wind Warning has been canceled,” the weather service stated in the update. “Gusty southwest winds up to 40 mph will continue through Sunday.”

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