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SALT LAKE CITY — The series of storms over the weekend produced as much as 19 inches of snow in Emigration Canyon and over a foot of snow at several of the Wasatch Mountain areas.
Salt Lake Valley even got pelted more than initially forecast. One station in South Salt Lake received 13 inches of snow, while 8 inches of snow fell at the weather station at the Salt Lake City International Airport. It was the most snow the valley has received since February 2021, said KSL meteorologist Kristen Van Dyke.
Some lingering storms in central Utah and patchy ice also produced slick roads Monday morning. But as most Utah communities have finished digging out the weekend snow, more is on its way — especially in the northern half of the state.
The National Weather Service issued a winter storm warning for northern Utah mountain areas from Nephi north to the Utah-Idaho border, where over 1 1/2 feet of snow is possible. It also issued a series of winter weather advisories for mountain areas in central Utah and the Wasatch Front/Cache valleys, where another 6 inches of snow is forecast.
Most of the alerts go into effect Tuesday morning and remain in place through most of Wednesday.
"We've needed the snow, we just had to wait until March to get some," Van Dyke said. "It looks like it's the month, though."
More snow on the way
The snow from the weekend helped push the statewide snowpack back to 84% of the normal for early March. The incoming storm will help chip away at the current deficit, too.
As one of the low-pressure systems moves east, another cold front is coming toward Utah from the northwest, Van Dyke said. The system will produce clouds Tuesday morning with some snow by the Utah-Idaho border, while most of the snow along the Wasatch Front and northern Utah is expected to begin in the mid-to-late afternoon hours, she added.
"It certainly can impact the commute home (Tuesday evening)," she said. "But then the snow starts to turn heavy (Tuesday) night and continues overnight into Wednesday morning. Wednesday morning is when we start to see the snow move farther south, too."
How much more?
The weather service initially issued a winter storm watch for most of northern Utah mountains and some valleys; however, in an update Monday afternoon, the weather service upgraded it to a winter storm warning for northern Utah mountain areas and a winter weather advisory for most of the valley areas.
Anywhere from 10 to 22 inches is forecast in the Wasatch Mountains within the storm warning, which goes into effect Tuesday morning — 5 a.m. in northern parts of the Wasatch and 11 a.m. in the southern parts of the Wasatch — and remains in place through 5 p.m. Wednesday.
The heaviest snow is expected to fall between Tuesday night and Wednesday morning.
❄️When will snow arrive in your location? For much of northern Utah, snow will arrive Tuesday morning or afternoon but pick up in intensity later in the evening/overnight. Take a look at the attached for more details on snow amounts and timing where you live. #UTwx#WYwxpic.twitter.com/wJ1X8iqUtf— NWS Salt Lake City (@NWSSaltLakeCity) March 7, 2022
Anywhere from 7 to 17 inches is now forecast for high-elevation areas in central Utah, like Fish Lake, Joes Valley and Scofield. Another 4 to 10 inches is forecast for the Wasatch Back and central Utah areas, such as Huntsville, Park City — with some parts possibly receiving more, according to an updated alert.
Another 2 to 6 inches of snow is forecast for valley communities, like Logan, Garden City, Ogden, Bountiful, Salt Lake City, Tooele and Provo. More snow is expected in the northern parts of the region and valley bench areas may receive higher amounts, according to the advisory.
Snow is also forecast in some parts of Utah not included in the alerts. Anywhere from an inch or two, to even 4 inches is possible in areas like Fillmore, Beaver, Cedar City and Monticello.
The weather service says winter driving conditions are expected through all mountain routes, especially Tuesday evening into Wednesday. While the snow totals won't be the same in the valleys as the mountain passes, the weather service says drivers should "slow down and use caution while traveling."
The agency tweeted Tuesday afternoon that snow squalls are possible during the peak of the storm.
"When a snow squall hits, visibility can drop to almost nothing in an instant," the tweet read. "There is no safe place on a highway during a snow squall, but what if you get stuck on the road? Reduce your speed, turn on your headlights, and don't slam on your brakes!"
The Utah Department of Transportation also issued a weather alert for its roads that runs from noon Tuesday through 6 p.m. Wednesday. The alert warns that the worst conditions will begin around Logan Summit midday before the snow impacts other mountain areas in the state.
Road Weather Alert: Our next winter storm will bring snow to both the valleys and mountains in Northern Utah Tuesday into Wednesday. Impacts to the Wednesday AM commute are expected. For more info visit: https://t.co/4P1gO1U0Gg#utwx#utsnow@UtahTruckingpic.twitter.com/k7ViNM8LyI— UDOT Traffic (@UDOTTRAFFIC) March 7, 2022
As for the valleys, snow showers are expected late Tuesday afternoon near the Utah-Idaho border before more develop southward.
"(The) heaviest snowfall in the valleys looks to be Tuesday night into Wednesday morning," UDOT officials wrote. "The Wednesday (morning) commute will be impacted by this snowfall."
Aside from mountain passes, its list of likely impacted roads includes:
- I-15: Utah-Idaho border to Nephi
- I-80: Grassy Mountains, Tooele County through Salt Lake City to the Utah-Wyoming border
- I-84: Entire route in Utah
- U.S. 40: I-80 junction through Daniels Canyon
- U.S. 89: Utah-Idaho border through Logan to Bountiful; Thistle to Birdseye
- U.S. 191: Indian Canyon Summit and Vernal to Utah-Wyoming border
- U.S. 189: Entire route in Utah
- State Route 36: Entire route
- State Route 224: Entire route
The Utah Avalanche Center reports there were 18 reported avalanches Sunday and Monday. It issued an avalanche watch for the Wasatch Range, Western Uintas, Southeast Idaho, and Bear River Range mountains that remains in effect through at least 6 a.m. Wednesday.
The watch states the risk of an avalanche will likely move from "considerable" Tuesday to "high" on Wednesday.
"A powerful winter storm could create very dangerous avalanche conditions in the backcountry. ... Heavy snowfall and blowing snow could create widespread areas of unstable snow," the agency wrote. "Human triggered and natural avalanches will become likely. People should avoid travel in avalanche terrain and stay off and out from under slopes steeper than 30 degrees."
What's up next?
While the snow will clear out before Thursday, temperatures will remain cold throughout the workweek, Van Dyke said. Highs will top out in the 30s across the Wasatch Front Thursday and Friday. The highs should return to normal for early March — the upper 40s and low 50s — by the weekend.
High temperatures will fall into the upper 40s in St. George by midweek but will return to the low 70s by Sunday, as well.
Full seven-day forecasts for areas across Utah can be found online at the KSL Weather Center.