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Storm closes Logan Canyon pass and creates ‘extreme’ slide risk

First Published      Last Updated Feb 08 2014 01:18 pm

While Sochi's snow saw a Utahn medal, the white stuff in Utah may test motorists' mettle.

Little snow is expected to accumulate in the northern valleys Saturday, but as much as a foot at higher elevations could create havoc on Wasatch Mountain passes and trigger frequent avalanches until the storm passes through Monday.

Overnight snowfall led the Utah Department of Transportation to close U.S. 89 through Logan Canyon and restrict U.S. 89/91 Sardine Canyon and Big and Little Cottonwood Canyons to chains and four-wheel drive vehicles on Saturday morning. Utah Highway Patrol nonetheless reported few accidents. There was one rollover accident near Orem that resulted in a late-60s couple going to the hospital with what were not believed to be serious injuries, but it was not believed to be weather-related.

The Utah Avalanche Center advises that "a high avalanche danger will border on extreme this weekend," particularly in the Cottonwood Canyons. Backcountry skiing is discouraged to those without expert route-finding and avalanche skills.

Powder Mountain announced on Facebook that it will be closed due to winds in excess of 50 mph.

Beaver Mountain in Logan Canyon reported the most new snow of the ski resorts, with 20 inches falling in the last 24 hours. Totals at other resorts include: Alta, 8; Brighton, 11; Canyons, 8; Deer Valley, 8; Park City Mountain Resort, 14; Powder Mountain, 15; Snowbird, 9; Solitude, 12.

The National Weather Service reports that snow and rain will continue Sunday before dying down as a cold front moves in Monday. Another storm is forecast across northern Utah toward the end of the workweek.

Overnight lows in the northern Utah valleys trend toward the mid-30s, with highs in the mid- to upper-40s Saturday.

The Utah Division of Air Quality projects healthy air conditions throughout Monday.

Readers can find more information on the Tribune's weather page at www.sltrib.com/weather.


Twitter: @matthew_piper