By Carter Pape
and Anthony Militano
On Feb. 2, Staten Island Chuck of New York City and Punxsutawney Phil of Pennsylvania each predicted an early spring. However, it is still winter in New York and Pennsylvania.
As was apparent from local weather this week, winter in southeastern Utah is also ongoing.
On Sunday, Feb. 18, a late-day storm plastered Moab and the surrounding area with wet, heavy snow and more fell on Monday. According Eric Trenbeath, local avalanche forecaster for the Utah Avalanche Center, Moab received about as much snow as the La Sals, with eight inches falling in Gold Basin, about 18 miles southeast of town. Monday’s storm wreaked havoc on Highway 191, with closures at Spanish Valley Drive meant to keep people from heading up the pass and between Monticello and Blanding, where a number of vehicles slid off the road in the icy conditions.
The National Weather Service predicts more snow for Moab through Friday with daytime temperatures in the high 30s and nighttime lows in the 20s. The snowfall is predicted to be widespread enough to reach St. George. The NWS also predicted snow for Monday and Tuesday, Feb. 24 and 25.
“It looks like we could see a foot or more of snow in the La Sals by Friday night,” Trenbeath told The Times-Independent on Wednesday. “The bulk of the storm will be slightly south of us and the Abajos will get hit harder. I expect the avalanche danger to rise with the new snow,” Trenbeath said.