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Winter storm blankets Wasatch Front with a white Christmas

Winter storm blankets Wasatch Front with a white Christmas

(Nick Wagner, Deseret News)


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Estimated read time: 2-3 minutes

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SALT LAKE CITY — Dreams of a white Christmas were fulfilled across the Beehive State as Mother Nature delivered one of the strongest holiday storms on record.

An overnight winter storm dumped more than a foot of snow on some areas along the Wasatch Front, including 23 inches reported at Brighton Resort. In southern Utah, Brian Head and Eagle Point ski resorts each received more than 30 inches of fresh powder, according to the Ski Utah Snow Report.

In the metro valley, Salt Lake City International Airport received 8 inches of snow, just short of the record of 9 inches set a century ago in 1916.

"It was the second snowiest Christmas on record," said KSL meteorologist Dan Guthrie.

Thus far, Utah snowpack totals are at least 120 percent above average at measuring locations throughout the state, resulting in healthy early season totals, he said.

Guthrie noted that the storm brought with it snow holding increased moisture content, which could result in high avalanche danger for backcountry enthusiasts in the coming days.

The Utah Avalanche Center website showed increased danger in high-elevation areas throughout the state, particularly along the Wasatch Front and Wasatch Back.

Snow should diminish late into Sunday evening before clearing out for the next several days, Guthrie said.

Daniel Lima, of Brazil, flips on his sled while Paula Catalan, of Argentina, films at Liberty Park in Salt Lake City on Sunday, Dec. 25, 2016. According to the National Weather Service, Salt Lake City International Airport received more than 8 inches of snow during the Christmas storm. (Photo: Nick Wagner, Deseret News)
Daniel Lima, of Brazil, flips on his sled while Paula Catalan, of Argentina, films at Liberty Park in Salt Lake City on Sunday, Dec. 25, 2016. According to the National Weather Service, Salt Lake City International Airport received more than 8 inches of snow during the Christmas storm. (Photo: Nick Wagner, Deseret News)

The sun should return by Monday afternoon, but with cooler temperatures as highs reach 29 degrees in Salt Lake City, he said. A light round of snow showers will skirt by northern Utah overnight into Wednesday morning, and a better chance at more precipitation will move in as we head into New Year's weekend, Guthrie added.

Highs later in the week are expected to be in the low 40s, with a chance for precipitation next weekend, he said.

“Another storm system is going to come in around Friday night through Sunday morning, so there could be snow for New Year’s too,” Guthrie said.

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Jasen Lee

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