Winter storm set to create havoc for Friday morning commute

Weather

A potent, fast-moving cold front and winter storm will bring widespread road impacts to the western half of the state Friday morning, including strong and gusty winds.

Gusty southerly winds along with rising temperatures will continue to increase over western Utah Thursday night and on the approach of the aforementioned cold front. Weather conditions are expected to deteriorate rapidly with the frontal passage as winds will continue to be gusty and heavy snow quickly develops. Areas north of Salt Lake City will begin to see winter driving conditions around 3 a.m. with Salt Lake City and points south along the Interstate 15 corridor waiting until 4 a.m.

Heavy, intense snowfall with hourly rates of 1 to 2 inches an hour will accompany the cold front leading to rapid snow accumulations on all area roadways. With the timing of the front, the Friday morning commute will be severely impacted as far south as Cedar City through snow amounts will be much less. Snow intensities will lead to reduced visibilities to go with the blowing and drifting snow.

Winter weather advisories will go into effect at 2 a.m. for most northern Utah locations excluding the west deserts with valley locations lasting through 11 a.m. and mountain locations through 5 p.m. The greatest impacts will be along the Wasatch Front due to the timing of the morning commute.

Most Wasatch front valleys will see anywhere between 1 to 3 inches with locally higher amounts. Bench locations, especially east bench locations could see 3 to 7 inches with locally higher amounts. Mountain locations could see up to a foot of snow with the cottonwoods possibly picking up a few inches more.

If you must be on the roads during the time allow for plenty of extra time to get to your final destination and use extreme caution as roads will become snow-covered or snow-packed very quickly with temperatures falling behind the front. There is also a potential for delayed openings of area schools so stay informed by visiting abc4.com for any school delays or closures.

STATE, CITY OFFICES TO OPEN AT 10 A.M.

Due to the forecasted storm, Gov. Herbert says the state is delaying the opening of its offices by two hours.

Salt Lake City and County offices and Plaza 349 will also delay opening until 10 a.m. The Mayor’s Office says crews will begin clearing city streets at 3 a.m. and hope to have most arterial roads cleared by 10 a.m.

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