Much of Utah experiencing winter storm conditions
A snowstorm that hit the Wasatch Front on Saturday morning is expected to last until Sunday evening and possibly into Monday.
Much of Utah was under a winter storm warning. The National Weather Service's warning remains in effect along the Wasatch Front through 6 p.m. Sunday. That warning means that significant accumulations of snow are expected or occurring, creating hazardous driving conditions.
Law enforcement officials were bracing for accidents on roads expected to be covered with ice and snow due to the recent cold spell and single-digit temperatures. The Utah Department of Transportation issued a high caution warning for all of the Interstate 15 corridor from Idaho to Arizona through Sunday at 6 p.m.
"We're expecting the snow to slowly increase as the day goes on," said Mark Struthwolf, a forecaster at the National Weather Service's Salt Lake City office Saturday morning. "With the cold temperatures we've had, the roads will get snowpacked."
Struthwolf said he expected the storm in the Salt Lake area would likely linger into the afternoon hours Sunday, with another lake effect snowstorm coming through Sunday night and lingering through Monday morning.
"If people are not happy with the snow on the weekend, they could get snow on Monday as well," he said.
The latest storm was expected to dump 3 to 7 inches of snow on the valley floor, 5 to 10 inches on the benches and 10 to 20 inches in the mountains, with the Cottonwood Canyons expected to receive heavy snowfall, good news to skiers.
As of early Saturday evening, the storm dropped at least 3 inches in Ogden, 4 inches in Alta, 10 inches in Provo Canyon and 8 inches in Kanab. Zion National Park also reported 8.5 inches, the location's fourth highest snow total in one day since record keeping began in 1904, according to the weather service.
The heavy snow in southern Utah even shut down St. George Municipal Airport through at least Sunday morning.
The Utah Department of Transportation began requiring chains or four-wheel drive at 8:50 a.m. Saturday in Big and Little Cottonwood canyons. By Saturday afternoon, that extended to all vehicles in Provo Canyon and all semitrailer trucks in Parleys Canyon.
The storm hit central and south-central Utah early Saturday, with Interstate 15 between Nephi and Parowan, much of Interstate 70 and Interstate 80 near Wendover all snowpacked.
About 5,600 residents and businesses in Washington County lost power for about half an hour Saturday afternoon. The cold weather could have contributed to equipment failure that caused the outage, said Rocky Mountain Power spokeswoman Maria O'Mara.
The Utah Avalanche Forecast Center is predicting high avalanche danger for Sunday in mountains near Salt Lake, Provo, Ogden, Moab and the High Uintas.
Temperatures are expected to remain low for the next few days.
Weather prognosticators are expecting a high of 17 in Salt Lake City on Sunday, with a low of 1 degree Sunday. Highs are predicted to hit 18 Monday, 23 Tuesday and 26 Wednesday.
Temperatures are also below normal in Utah's Dixie, with the high Sunday expected to reach only 32, then a low of 17 Sunday night. Highs are expected to reach 32 Monday, 36 Tuesday and 40 Wednesday, with mostly sunny conditions. That's still pretty cold for a round of winter golf, however.
Reporter Michael McFall contributed to this story.
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