SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4) – On Friday morning the National Weather Service warned of a sudden snow squall, just as the morning commute was beginning to pick up. The squall hit from Ogden to West Valley City.
Just a few hours later, another warning was put into effect from 11 a.m. until noon. The latest warning impacts the entire Wasatch Front from the Morgan area down to the Provo area and as far as east as Grantsville and Burmester.
But what is a snow squall?
According to the National Weather Service, a snow squall is a sudden burst of snow and you should probably stay indoors when they happen.
Snow squalls can create white-out conditions within an instant. Paired with a sudden drop in temperatures, they can create icy roads within a few minutes. Snow squalls don’t typically last long as they move in and out very quickly and are gone within the hour. Friday’s snow squall warning for example was issued at 7:30 a.m. and was lifted by 8 a.m. the same day.
While you might not see feet of snow pile up from a snow squall, the high winds, low visibility, and the possibility of icy roads make snow squalls very dangerous to travel in.
The NWS said there is a long history of deadly traffic accidents during snow squalls. If a snow squall is ever issued, such as the one earlier, it’s recommended to stay inside and wait to drive on the roads until it passes.
If you’re already driving, the NWS recommends slowing down, using headlights and hazards as necessary and allowing plenty of space between you and other drivers on the road. It’s important not to slam on the breaks because of the high possibility of slick roads.
The NWS Friday, that the snow squall and following heavy snow conditions were just an appetizer of what is to come for Utahns entering the weekend.
“The cold front is now pushing into Wendover where snowfall rates are even heavier,” NWS Salt Lake City said on Twitter. “Expect this second band of snow to move in about noon.”