Winter storm to linger through Friday

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SALT LAKE CITY — A walloping and windy winter storm rolled through northern Utah late Wednesday and is predicted to stick around through late Friday morning.

The National Weather Service in Salt Lake City has issued a winter storm warning to remain in effect through 11 a.m. Friday.

In the meantime, northern Utah residents who may have been teased into thinking it was spring because of the recent temperate weather were rudely reminded winter wants to hang on.

Bench areas in Davis County were reporting snow accumulations easily in the 5-inch range and the storm had dumped 16 inches of new snow at the Park City summit by 6 a.m. Thursday. Provo Canyon reported 8.5 inches during the same time period.

The snow made for a nasty, late afternoon commute Wednesday and tied up traffic Thursday morning on I-15 in Weber County near Roy, where a car traveling too fast for conditions slid off the roadway and into a canal.

The driver, Roy Gibson, said, "Everybody started slamming on their brakes for an accident that happened up front. As I put mine on, my front end started to sway."

"I didn't think we were going that fast to have that much momentum to get me through the fence and down into the canal," he added. Still, he said it wouldn't have taken much to keep his car out of the canal.

Wednesday Wind Gusts
  • Salt Lake International Airport - 52 mph
  • Farmington - 50 mph
  • Centerville - 48 mph

"Just make sure you have good tires, and take your time on the roads," he said.

The Utah Highway Patrol reported no injuries in the accident.

The Utah Avalanche Center issued a warning Thursday for the mountains of Northern and Central Utah. The warning discouraged backcountry travel and said that while naturally occurring avalanches were unlikely, dangerous slides could be caused by a person's weight.

Snowfall was made worse with the windy conditions as well, with the Salt Lake City International Airport clocking gusts of up to 52 mph Wednesday afternoon. Farmington was buffeted with winds of 50 mph Wednesday, while Centerville recorded gusts of 48 mph. Near white-out conditions were reported in some areas.

While the storm brought some welcome water relief to what has been a dismal year for precipitation, experts said it will not do much to get the state anywhere near average in terms of snowpack.

"You never look a gift horse in the mouth and every little storm helps," said Randy Julander, with the Natural Resources Conservation Service's Utah Snow Survey. "But we would need above average accumulations from here until April" to even hit 80 percent of average, he said.

Northern Utah's weather is anticipated to remain unsettled and stormy through midday Friday, with more snow likely to fall in some areas Thursday afternoon and into the morning.


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Amy Joi O'Donoghue and Mike Anderson


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