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Southern, central Utah set to receive another round of snow with Thursday storm

The National Weather Service issued yet another winter weather advisory in Utah but this time, its for central and southern Utah.

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A motorist drives in the snow on Wednesday, Jan. 18, 2023.

A motorist drives as snow is piled high in Suncrest in Draper on Wednesday, Jan. 18, 2023.

Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News

The National Weather Service on Wednesday issued yet another winter weather advisory in Utah, this time for a storm that is set to mostly impact the central and southern parts of the state to close out the workweek.

Northern parts of the state could see some snow as a part of the pattern, as well.

KSL meteorologist Kevin Eubank explained that the storm system is fairly similar to what Utah has received the past few weeks. It's a storm coming in from the Pacific Coast, though he said this one is "a little different."

That's because the atmospheric river that slammed California on its way to Utah has been shut off, for the moment. Instead, a high-pressure system off the coast of Southern California is pushing the storm from the Pacific Northwest into Utah.

"What's interesting is this isn't going to come plowing in. It's going to come in and then — all of a sudden — it's going to dive south," he said. "So (on Thursday), there will be light snow along the Wasatch but the core will slide through south-central Utah. ... Bottom line, it's kind of a whiff of a storm for the Wasatch. It's a much better storm for southern Utah."

The advisory, which takes effect at 11 a.m. Thursday, says 6 to 12 inches of snow are possible in the central and southern mountains by the time the advisory ends Friday. The Pine Valley and Tushar Mountains, as well as Brian Head, are likely to receive the highest snow accumulations.

Bryce Canyon is forecast to receive 3 to 6 inches of snow, while southwest Utah communities like Beaver, Cedar City, Milford and Springdale could receive 2 to 4 inches of snow, according to the advisory. It adds 1 to 2 inches of snow is possible by the Lake Powell area, too. Even St. George could receive some snow.

A weather service snowfall probability model, updated Thursday morning, says a few inches of snow are possible in the Wasatch Mountains, while most Wasatch Front communities may end up receiving only a dusting if the storm track continues as forecasted.

The Utah Department of Transportation issued a road weather alert for the storm, which advises that motorists should use "moderate caution" while traveling through most of the state Thursday and Friday. However, the agency notes the impacts likely won't be as severe as was the case with some of the previous storms this month — aside from southern Utah's mountain passes.

"Impacts from this storm will be widespread but not as significant compared to previous storms," the agency wrote. "The Wasatch Front north of Spanish Fork and the Uintah Basin may see some snow but it will struggle to accumulate on roads beyond a dusting. Some of the central and southern mountains, particularly Brian Head, could see some periods of heavy snow."

Full seven-day forecasts for areas across Utah can be found online, at the KSL Weather Center.

The incoming storm just continues to pile onto Utah’s robust mountain snowpack, which is now up to 14.5 inches of water on average across the state, per Natural Resources Conservation Service data observed Wednesday evening. The figure is almost twice the normal for this point in the water year and 92% of the normal snowpack collection for a year.

Eubank points out that the snowpack collection is currently up to what's typically seen on April 1.

"If we (don't) see another snowflake all year, we'd have an average precipitation year in the mountains," he said "That's how good things are right now. It's just awesome."