Bigger-than-predicted snowstorm causes scores of crashes, hundreds of delayed flights

(Al Hartmann | The Salt Lake Tribune) A bicyclist takes a snowy commute Tuesday morning Feb. 20, 2018, in Salt Lake City. The first major storm of the season should help the snowpack in the mountains.

The third wave of a storm cycle that brought wintry weather to Utah over the past week has been more severe than initial projections indicated.

By 7 p.m. Friday, snow accumulation in Salt Lake City was at 4 inches, double what the National Weather Service had predicted. About 9 inches of snow covered Tooele.

Bountiful and South Ogden had nearly 8 inches each by 5 p.m. West Haven, in Weber County, had 6.5 inches registered by 1 p.m., and the adjacent mountains had as much as 20 inches.

The Utah Highway Patrol responded to 130 crashes between 4 a.m. and 1 p.m. along the Wasatch Front.

Salt Lake County had the most crashes, 71, including four with major injuries. Utah County had 37 crashes in that span; four caused major injuries.

The storm also caused the cancellation of four flights and the delay of at least 420 flights into and out of Salt Lake City International Airport on Friday, according to FlightAware.com, and at least three flights into and out of Provo’s airport were delayed.

As of 7 p.m., snow totals for the prior 24 hours were reported as 3 inches in Wellsville, 3 at Solitude, 3 in Diamond Valley, 3 at Big Water near Glen Canyon Recreation Area, 3.2 in southwest Cedar City, 3.5 in Panguitch, 4 inches in Salt Lake City, 7 in South Ogden, 4 at Alta, 5.8 in New Harmony, 3 in Oak City, 6 at Hill Air Force Base, 11 at Powder Mountain, 9 at Brighton and 20 at Snowbasin.

In southern Utah, Kodachrome Basin Park had 4 inches of snow. Kanab and Escalante each had a reported 1.5 inches as of 5 p.m.

A hazardous-weather outlook also remained in place across the state, warning of additional snowstorms moving in late Saturday and again Monday night.

Avalanche danger was rated as considerable near Ogden, Provo, Moab and Abajo, while it was moderate near Logan, Salt Lake and the Uintas, according to the Utah Avalanche Center.

For more detailed weather information, visit The Salt Lake Tribune’s weather page at www.sltrib.com/weather.