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Weekend storm produces up to 2 feet of snow in Utah; advisories issued for next system

Motorists drive near Brighton Ski Resort on Wednesday. The resort received another 2 feet of snow over the weekend and may receive another foot or more in the next few days as a result of the next storm to impact Utah.

Motorists drive near Brighton Ski Resort on Wednesday. The resort received another 2 feet of snow over the weekend and may receive another foot or more in the next few days as a result of the next storm to impact Utah. (Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News)


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SALT LAKE CITY — Sundance Resort received 28 inches of additional snow, while Alta, Brighton and Snowbird resort areas also received near or more than 2 feet of snow from a storm system that arrived in the state Saturday and lingered into Sunday.

The storm ultimately produced robust snow accumulations across the state's mountain resorts. Eagle Point, Park City Mountain, Snowbasin and Solitude resorts all received more than a foot of snow from the storm, as well, which has recreation enthusiasts salivating. Utah Department of Transportation officials tweeted that parking lots of multiple Cottonwood Canyons ski resorts were full Monday morning, as skiers and snowboarders looked to take advantage of the fresh powder.

Some parts of the canyons now even boast the best snowfall levels in decades, too. For example, one National Weather Service observer program site in the Alta area is now up to 314 inches of snow this season, marking its best snowfall total from Oct. 1 — the annual start of the water year — through Jan. 14 since 1984.

Meanwhile, the recent storm is also making water resources managers happy because of how water-heavy the recent storms have been.

Utah's mountain snowpack is now up to 13.9 inches of water, with 7.5 inches of that coming since Dec. 27, according to Natural Resources Conservation Service data accessed Monday morning. The current figure is 194% of normal for mid-January and 88% of the normal snowpack season with 78 days left in the typical collection period,

And there's more snow on the way.

New warnings and advisories

The next storm system will impact most parts of Utah; however, it's moving more south than any of the recent wintry storms, said KSL meteorologist Matt Johnson. That's why it will primarily impact central and southern Utah, as well as Arizona through Wednesday morning.

The National Weather Service issued a handful of new winter storm warnings and winter weather advisories, as a result. One of the warnings states that 1 to 2 feet of heavy snow are expected in the southern mountains, with heavier totals in the Pine Valley and Tushar mountain ranges, especially by Brian Head.

Many communities throughout southwest and south-central Utah are also listed within the warnings, including Beaver, Bryce Canyon, Cedar City, Circleville, Milford and Panguitch. The alert states 3 to 8 inches of snow or more are possible through early Wednesday, with higher totals likely in areas closer to Beaver and Cedar City.

Several other parts of the state are included in the winter weather advisory. Those advisories note that:

  • 6 to 12 inches of snow are forecast in the Wasatch and central mountains through Wednesday morning
  • Amounts higher than 1 foot are possible in the upper Cottonwood canyons
  • 2 to 5 inches of snow are forecast for the Great Salt Lake Desert and mountain areas, including Wendover and Dugway
  • 2 to 6 inches of snow are forecast for central Utah communities, including Delta, Castle Dale, Fillmore, Scipio, Mt. Pleasant and Price

While not included in the advisories, communities along Wasatch Front and Cache Valley will likely see some off-and-on precipitation Monday, Johnson said. The snow line appears to be near the valley floors, so it may fall as either rain or snow. The off-and-on precipitation will continue into Tuesday.

A colder storm with "a better chance for snow in the valley" is expected to arrive in the northern half of the state on Thursday, he added. Full seven-day forecasts for areas across Utah can be found online, at the KSL Weather Center.

Storm impacts

The Utah Department of Transportation issued a road weather alert that remains in effect through Tuesday night. It advises that snow showers will impact roads throughout the rest of the holiday weekend and into Tuesday.

"By Monday evening, showery snowfall will be underway across the majority of the state," UDOT officials wrote. "Sporadic periods of snowfall are expected across an expansive area of the state through late Tuesday evening before the parent storm finally begins to pull away to the east."

Drivers are advised to slow down and be alert. UDOT adds these Utah roadways will be most impacted at times over the course of the storm:

  • I-15: Utah-Idaho border to Anderson junction, located 25 miles north of St. George
  • I-70: Entire Route
  • I-80: Entire Route
  • I-84: Entire Route
  • U.S. 6: Entire Route
  • U.S. 40: Entire Route
  • U.S. 89: Entire Route, aside from areas in and around Big Water
  • U.S. 191: Bluff to Utah-Wyoming border
  • U.S. 189: Provo Canyon
  • SR-31: Entire Route
  • SR-92: American Fork Canyon
  • SR-190: Big Cottonwood Canyon
  • SR-210: Little Cottonwood Canyon

Meanwhile, the Utah Avalanche Center listed most of Utah's mountain ranges as having "considerable" avalanche danger Monday morning. The agency reports there have been nearly two dozen human-triggered and natural avalanches reported in Utah's mountains since Sunday.

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Carter Williams is an award-winning reporter who covers general news, outdoors, history and sports for KSL.com. He previously worked for the Deseret News. He is a Utah transplant by the way of Rochester, New York.

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