ST. GEORGE — The weather pattern that started last week is continuing, with rain coming in droves at lower elevations and heavy snow at higher elevations across Southern Utah.

Chart shows the weather forecast for the Cedar City area and Southern Utah mountains, Feb. 5, 2024 | Image courtesy of National Weather Service, St. Geroge News

As a result, the five-county region of Washington, Iron, Garfield, Beaver and Kane will be under a winter storm warning from 11 a.m. Tuesday through 5 a.m. Thursday.

The National Weather Service issued the alert Monday afternoon, calling for heavy snow specifically in the Brian Head area. Up to two feet are predicted in the Southern Mountains, with locally higher amounts up to 30 inches in the Brian Head area, according to an NWS news release.

Winter driving conditions along mountain routes are expected to be difficult, and the NWS reminds travelers, “If you must travel, keep an extra flashlight, food, and water in your vehicle in case of an emergency.”

The weather service’s forecast for Cedar City calls for a chance of snow before 11 p.m. Monday, then a chance of snow after 2 a.m. with a low around 20 and wind chill values as low as 4. Expect southerly winds of 30-34 mph, with gusts as high as 50 mph.

Snow is expected Tuesday, mainly after 11 a.m. The snow could be heavy at times. High near 27 with wind chill values as low as 2. Windes will be around 30 mps with gusts as high as 47 mph. The chance of precipitation is 100%, with new snow accumulation of 6-10 inches possible.

National Weather Service radar shows the weather system moving to the northeast, Feb. 5, 2024 | Images courtesy of National Weather Service, St. George News

By Tuesday night in, especially Iron and Beaver counties could see heavy snow with temperatures around 13 and wind chills of -2. Wind and snow will continue with another 5-9 inches possible. Similar conditions are predicted into the early morning Thursday with 3-7 inches of additional snow possible.

Meanwhile, in St. George, residents can expect temperatures in the mid-40s during the day and high 30s overnight, and rain —  lots of rain. Through Thursday, chances are as high as 100% on Tuesday night and 60% Wednesday-Thursday. Amounts will vary. Wind will be variable and range between 5 and 15 mph, the weather service said.

Precautionary and preparedness actions

For the most current conditions, warnings and advisories, go to the National Weather Service-Salt Lake City office website. Additional information on driving conditions can be found at the UDOT website.

Additional winter travel tips are available by clicking on the following link: Vehicle Preparation and Safety Precautions for Winter Weather.

Emergency preparedness means drivers should ensure their vehicles are equipped an emergency kit, reliable tires and wipers that work well, according to the Utah Department of Transportation, Cedar City, Utah, Jan. 25, 2024 | Photo by Alysha Lundgren, St. George News / Cedar City News

Getting ready

Be aware of road conditions. Click here to access UDOT’s travel safety roadmap.
Clear any frost and snow from the car’s lights and windows. Make an effort to see and be seen while driving.
Inspect the vehicle’s tires, fluids, wiper blades, lights and hoses. Preventative maintenance may save a car from breaking down and stranding drivers and passengers on the highway.
Allow for leeway in travel time. Expect to drive slowly in adverse weather conditions. High speeds can lead to skidding off the road and getting stuck in the snow.
Have emergency supplies in the car. A basic winter emergency kit may include items like a flashlight, batteries, snacks, water, gloves, boots and a first-aid kit.

When driving

Take it slow. Drive well below posted speed limits and leave plenty of space between cars.
Approach intersections, off-ramps, bridges and shaded areas slowly. These areas are hot spots for black ice.
Slow down in cases of limited visibility and be alert.
Whether someone drives an elevated SUV or a ground-kissing Toyota Prius, again, UDOT says to take it slow. Just because a truck has 4-wheel drive doesn’t change how it handles on the road, especially when traction goes out the window. Mother Nature is no respecter of automotive diversity.
Keep the vehicle’s speed down. The faster the car goes, the longer it takes to stop. Be slow on the accelerator or risk having the car skid when the next stop sign appears.
Do not use the car’s cruise control while ice and snow still abound.

Chart shows specifics about the winter storm warning for Southern Utah, Feb. 5, 2024 | Image courtesy of National Weather Service, St. George News | Click to enlarge

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