The National Weather Service warned of whiteout conditions until about 5:45 p.m.
(Trent Nelson | The Salt Lake Tribune) Salt Lake City covered in fresh snow on Wednesday, Dec. 15, 2021. Another storm is expected to hit the area on Monday afternoon.
| Dec. 27, 2021, 3:13 p.m.
| Updated: Dec. 28, 2021, 1:24 a.m.
A snow squall warning is in effect until about 5:45 p.m. for Salt Lake City, according to the National Weather Service.
Squalls are weather events that feature a sudden increase in wind speed by at least 18 mph, and this one will include snowfall, making for possible whiteout conditions, according to the weather service.
An emergency alert issued to area residents also warned of heavy snow and a “sudden drop” to near-zero visibility on icy roadways.
“Slow down or delay travel!” the alert read.
The snow squall warning includes Interstate 15 and Interstate 215 near Layton and Ogden, as well as I-15, I-215, Interstate 80 and U.S. Route 89 near Salt Lake City and West Valley City, according to the weather service.
Around 5 p.m., officials closed U.S. 89 through Sardine Canyon to all vehicles without four-wheel drive or tire chains. All lanes of I-80 through Parleys Canyon followed with the same restrictions about an hour later.
Coronavirus testing sites — which health officials expected would be busy after the holiday weekend — at the Old Workforce Services Building and Highland High in Salt Lake County, Davis Technical College in Davis County and the Saratoga Springs mobile site in Utah County closed earlier than scheduled because of the storm.
“People in line may be provided with at-home test kits at sites that close early,” the state tweeted.
The squall warning was issued during an ongoing winter weather advisory for the northern Wasatch Front, which began mid-afternoon Monday and will continue through early Tuesday.
Residents of Salt Lake Valley, Utah Valley and surrounding areas can expect 2-5 inches of snow, with more in the higher benches through about 7 p.m., thanks to an incoming cold front. Lake effect snow could bring even more accumulations in some areas, especially on the benches.
The storm will spread into southern Utah on Monday night and continue into Tuesday before tapering off. The winter weather advisory goes into effect there at 8 p.m. Monday and continues until 1 p.m. Tuesday.
In Salt Lake City, there’s no snow in the forecast for Tuesday, but it’ll be cold — a high of just 26 is forecast. Snow is possible again on Wednesday, with more snow possible on Thursday and Friday.
After daytime highs in the low to mid-30s and overnight lows in the 20s, it’s expected to be frigid on New Year’s Eve — the overnight low on Friday is forecast at 13 degrees. On New Year’s Day, a high of just 25 is expected, and a low of about 9 degrees is forecast in the evening.
In southern Utah, the forecast this week calls for temperatures in the upper 30s and low 40s Tuesday through Friday. There’s a chance of snow Tuesday through Friday, with the possibility of some accumulation, mostly on Wednesday night.
St. George residents can expect a mix of rain and snow on New Year’s Eve, with temperatures falling from the low 40s to the low 20s overnight. New Year’s Day will be sunny, with highs in the mid-30s. And it will be very cold Saturday night, with a low of about 16.