Winter Storm Watches issued, weekend mountain snow expected

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Posted at 5:48 PM, Nov 17, 2023

SALT LAKE CITY — Utah ski areas are seeing their first substantial snowfalls of the season as a storm brings heavy moisture all across the state.

The National Weather Service office in Salt Lake City reported the following snow totals as of Sunday night:

  • Snowbird - 12"
  • Alta - 13"
  • Park City - 3.5"
  • Manti - 1"
  • Laketown (Bear Lake) - 1"

Winter Storm Watches were issued along the state's mountain ranges and will mostly remain in effect through Monday morning.

The traction law is currently in effect for both Big and Little Cottonwood canyons, meaning vehicles must have 4-wheel-drive or tire chains.

The National Weather Service said up to 14 inches of snow is possible for the Wasatch Mountains, with up to 16 inches possible in the Upper Cottonwoods. The western Uintas and other ranges could see as much as 12 inches of snow.

Saturday morning, precipitation moved in from the southwest and impacted southern Utah, bringing valley rain and snow above 8,000 feet. The mountain snow is expected to fall starting with the second wave on Sunday.

During the second wave on late Sunday is when valley snow could be found on benches depending on "how quickly snow levels drop, and whether or not precipitation ends before valleys are able to transition to snow," the National Weather Service posted to social media.

If benches do see snow, it will most likely be minor accumulations.

Residents and visitors should be prepared for winter driving conditions and the possibility of traction restrictions being issued on mountain routes.

A Flash Flood Warning for Springdale and Rockville, including Zion National Park, remained in effect until 1:30 p.m.

In addition, a High Wind Watch was issued for Sunday with the NWS saying strong northwesterly winds are possible in northwestern Utah, bringing possible gusts over 65 mph Sunday morning through Sunday evening.