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Goodbye, January and cold, snow, smog, ice

Published: Thursday, Jan. 31 2013 5:50 p.m. MST

The meteorologist almost sounded forlorn when she said she missed it — she was in Oklahoma — but she's been regaled with stories of something that has only happened nine times at the airport in any measurable quantity.

The rain on Jan. 24 fell through warm air and hit the cold air of the inversion. By the time it landed on streets and cars and people, it became little slivers of ice painting everything dangerously slick.

On I-15 along the Wasatch Front and in neighborhoods in multiple communities, the going speed was dead slow and that seemed too fast.

Multiple pedestrians ended up in hospital emergency rooms from falls, while scores of others stubbornly nursed bruises and cuts in the privacy of their homes.

Weather watchers dubbed the ice storm the fourth largest of its kind at the Salt Lake City International Airport, which had to shut down its runways for three hours — an operational anomaly.

Gann said it may have been the first time in decades that a freezing rain led to the simultaneous closure of all the airport's runways, although the actual airport terminals never closed.

Added Hosenfeld: "It is amazing what a little bit of ice can do. Until you've gone through one, you can't really appreciate the large impact ice has."

This weekend, the Salt Lake City area appears intent on diving into a zone that January saw very little of — normalcy.

High temperatures will hover around average — low 40s — and stay that way throughout Saturday and Sunday. Normal, after January, seems like a break.

E-mail: amyjoi@desnews.com

Twitter: amyjoi16

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