Winds, snow moving into parts of Utah
A winter storm blew across Utah on Sunday bringing rain, snow and high winds that whipped across some central Wasatch mountain peaks at speeds as high was 85 miles an hour.
The blustery weather temporarily shut down Interstate 80 and left some Utahns without power in Salt Lake Valley and Ogden-area communities, officials said.
Utah's ski resorts saw the strongest winds, according to data from the National Weather Service. Winds topped 72 mph at Snowbasin, 71 mph at Park City Mountain Resort and 58 mph at Alta on Sunday afternoon.
Closer to the Salt Lake Valley floor, winds of 53 mph blew in Bountiful and 49 mph hour winds were felt in Bluffdale. The Salt Lake City International Airport registered winds of 46 mph.
The storm caused only a handful of minor problems and damage, including ripping some siding off one home in the Sandy area and knocking down a large tree in Bountiful that temporarily blocked traffic along 400 East, National Weather Service meteorologist Steve Rogowski said.
A high wind warning remained in place until 11 p.m. Sunday for Utah's Great Salt Lake Desert and mountains. Sustained winds of up to 40 mph were expected with gusts of up to 65 mph in some locations.
The winds, which could make travel along Interstates 80 and 84 and State Road 30 hazardous, were expected to linger until a cold front swept through the area Sunday evening.
A winter weather advisory was in also place through 5 a.m. Monday for parts of the northern Wasatch and western Uinta mountains, with as much as a foot of snow predicted.
Heavy snow in Parleys Canyon about 9 p.m. Sunday caused a traffic tangle as westbound semis had trouble getting up the summit and had blocked all travel lanes, Utah Highway Patrol Sgt. Ted Tingey said. UHP closed the highway at Summit Park exit and was working to get the trucks off the road. Chain restrictions were in place for all trucks and other travelers were being advised to use alternate routes, he said.
Wind and lightning began to cause power problems for Utah residents in the Ogden and Harrisville areas late Sunday afternoon, Rocky Mountain Power spokesman Jeff Hymas said. About 1,500 homes were without service for a few hours, although by evening most service had been restored.
At 10 p.m. Sunday, about 2,000 residences across the Salt Lake Valley were without service. The largest outage was in West Valley City, where 400 homes were dark. Another 270 residences in the Avenues neighborhood of Salt :Lake City were also without power. Some homes in the Kamas area had also been affected, Hymas said.
Hymas said the power pole fire and downed power lines and lightning were the primary causes of the outages.
"This storm system is going to be out of here by [Monday] morning," Rogowski said. "We'll struggle to make it past the upper 40s, but it will just be partly cloudy and all the precipitation will be done."
Temperatures are expected to climb back into the 50s by midweek, he said.
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