Utah Ski Resorts Receive First Snow of Season

Utah Ski Resorts Receive First Snow of Season

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SALT LAKE CITY (AP) -- An autumn storm that hit parts of Utah on Monday and Tuesday dumped nearly a foot of snow in the northern Utah mountains and gave several ski resorts their first snowfall of the season.

Alta led the state with 10 inches of snow while eight inches fell at Snowbird ski resort, according to two-day totals from the National Weather Service taken Wednesday morning.

The early October snow storm isn't unusual for Utah, and more snow is expected this weekend.

"We can get snow in the mountains anytime of the year ... there's been snow in July in the mountains," said Weather Service meteorologist Chris Young in Salt Lake City.

Chalk Creek in the Uinta mountains and Dry Fork in the Oquirrhs each had five inches of snow by early Wednesday.

For ski resorts hoping to open next month, the early snow is a positive sign of things to come.

"There are still projects to be done before winter arrives, but this first snowfall has put smiles on the faces of people all around Snowbird," Snowbird President Bob Bonar said in a statement.

Snowbird and Alta are about 30 miles southeast of Salt Lake City.

The Weather Service expects the amount of precipitation this winter will be similar to previous years.

"What we're not seeing is any clear indication of an el Nino or la Nina-type event that would indicate that our winter's going to be above or below normal in terms of precipitation," said Weather Service meteorologist Kevin Barjenbruch.

Temperatures this winter could be higher than normal, Barjenbruch said.

There is a 30 percent to 40 percent chance that temperatures could be higher in northern Utah and a 40 percent to 50 percent chance of above-normal temperatures in southern Utah, he said.

Salt Lake City's average temperatures in December are a high of 38 degrees and a low of 22.

(Copyright 2005 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)


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