Utahns drive to Rose Bowl early to avoid next winter storm
SALT LAKE CITY — The Utah Department of Transportation urged Utahns headed to southern California for the Rose Bowl to plan ahead and leave early.
“Sunday into Monday we’re going to see a statewide storm that is going to make traveling very challenging,” UDOT spokesperson John Gleason said.
“The best time to travel if you’re heading out to the Rose Bowl is today (Friday) through tomorrow evening,” Gleason said. “If you’re waiting until Sunday, you are waiting too long. We’re expecting some really challenging conditions all along I-15 throughout the state.”
Gleason said road crews are standing by to start clearing the roads once the snow hits. Gleason reminded motorists to give snowplow drivers plenty of room to do their jobs.
“The crews are well rested and ready to tackle anything that comes our way,” Gleason said. “Sunday into Monday is when we’re really going to see a lot of plows out on the road.”
This latest storm is bringing rain, snow, and avalanche dangers through Sunday.
“Rain will persist tonight and lead to periods of rain through the day on Saturday,” KSL meteorologist Matt Johnson said. “A switchover to snow is possible as cold air filters in through the day on Sunday.”
Saturday’s rain should not cause a problem for drivers but conditions will be tougher Sunday as that rain turns into snow.
“Heavy mountain snow is expected across all Utah mountains this weekend,” the National Weather Service said. “Significant accumulating snow is also expected across the Wasatch Back, Bear River Valley, and Uinta Co., WY. Snow may mix with or change to rain at times on Saturday across lower elevations of the Wasatch Back.”
Johnson said residents could expect one to two inches of snow in the valleys by Sunday with mountain areas bracing for as much as five feet.
UDOT’s advice for those driving to #RoseBowl: “If you’re waiting until Sunday you are waiting too long”
— Ladd Egan (@laddegan) December 30, 2022
Plenty of Utah fans followed the advice to beat the storm and were seen driving along southbound I-15 on Friday. Some were not willing to risk flight cancellations and opted to drive instead.
“We’re heading to the Rose Bowl and we’re so excited about it,” Emmiekate Leishman from Salt Lake City said.
Leishman and her family stopped at a gas station in Nephi on their way to California. The family’s caravan planned on reaching Pasadena by 9 p.m. Friday.
“Go Utes!” Leishman said.
University of Utah fans were sharing the road with plenty of fellow fans sporting U logos on sweatshirts, hats, window stickers, and license plates.
“You’re starting to see more and more cars as you drive by with their Utah logos, so you’re starting to feel that vibe,” Sandy resident Mike Perkins said. “It should be a good time.”
Perkins was traveling with his father, brother, and two children. The group stopped in Fillmore for snacks as they headed south.
The Monday game means a tradition that is essential to the Rose Bowl Parade since the 1890s will live on. It’s called the “Never on Sunday” promise.
Before there was a game, there was a Rose Parade, started in 1890 in Pasadena, California, where it is still held. The city was celebrating its warm weather by showing off its flowers in a parade to welcome in the new year while other locations were buried in snow.
Part of that event, steeped in tradition, well more than a century later is the “never on Sunday” rule that was established the first time Jan. 1 posed a conflict with church.
“The Tournament of Roses has had a ‘Never on Sunday’ tradition since 1893, the first year the Rose Parade fell on a Sunday, and the tradition remains to this day,” it states on the current event’s website.
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