Wet weather, holiday traffic predicted ahead of Christmas weekend

Wet weather and heavy holiday traffic have public safety officials on guard for what could be a dicey travel weekend for the Christmas holiday.

Rain was forecast in the St. George area starting late Thursday and lasting through the weekend, while higher-elevation communities from Cedar City northward were likely to see at least some snow.

Law enforcement officials and transportation managers were anxious about the timing, with winter weather coming in two days before Christmas, traditionally one of the busiest travel days of the year.

Traffic forecasters were predicting that many people who had to cancel getaways and family visits last year because of the COVID-19 pandemic would try to make up for lost time this holiday season, with AAA predicting in its year-end holiday travel forecast that overall traffic would increase more than 30% year-over-year.