Most of northern Utah got a bonus snowstorm Tuesday night and early Wednesday, and more snow was expected for the majority of the state through Wednesday evening.
The storm, which caused problems for commuters and law enforcement officers Tuesday and Wednesday, also helped bolster water supplies.Seven vehicles, including a packed UTA bus, were involved in two separate accidents on the southbound lanes of the Beck Street overpass on I-15 shortly before 7 a.m. Wednesday.
The pileup left at least three people injured, according to Utah Highway Patrol troopers on the scene. Morning commuter traffic was at a standstill behind the accident with cars lined up for several miles waiting to get through the wreck, which blocked all but one of the southbound lanes on the overpass.
Uninjured drivers involved in the wreck and the passengers of the loaded commuter bus had to wait at the scene for more than an hour while officers investigated the chain-reaction accident.
"Barometric pressures are extremely low. It looks like a lot more snow is on the way. The lowest pressures are around Elko and Ely. When it starts to move east, it will likely bring a band of heavy snow," said William J. Alder, meteorologist in charge of the Salt Lake office of the National Weather Service.
Four to 7 inches of additional snow are expected in the valleys and at least a foot more snow in the mountains by late Wednesday.
In Salt Lake City, a Fire Department engine, en route to a medical call, and a small car collided about 10:15 p.m. Tuesday at 200 West and North Temple.
"Send police to our location. We're halfway in the intersection and tying up traffic," firefighter Lt. Ray Robbs radioed and added, "Make the announcement that the roads are very slick and have the engines chain up. There's people sliding all over out here."
Snowfall ranged from 4 inches in Wendover and an inch in Springville to 4.6 inches (the largest amount of snow this winter) at the Salt Lake International Airport and 5 inches in Taylorsville. Brighton and Alta ski resorts got 12 inches. Vernal had 2 inches.
The storm moved into Utah from the north but apparently "ran out of gas between Springville and Nephi," Alder said.
"It came in quicker than we thought. It was not really in the (weather) charts, but the one expected today (Wednesday)" had been forecast, Alder said.
Temperatures are expected to drop considerably as the week progresses, he said. By the end of the week highs in the Salt Lake Valley will probably be in the 20s, with low readings in single digits.
A wind warning was issued for southwestern Utah early Wednesday. Cedar City reported gusts of 66 mph.
Tuesday's storm moved into Utah from Idaho, causing many property damage-type accidents but no major injuries, according to early reports from Utah Highway Patrol dispatchers around the state.
The storm deposited 6 to 7 inches of snow in the Elko, Nev., area. A dispatcher for the Utah Highway Patrol and the Tooele County sheriff's office said the storm forced the closure of westbound lanes on I-80 west of Wendover in the Pequop Summit area.
Powder Mtn. 12
Park City 9
Deer Valley 8
North Salt Lake 5
S.L. Airport 4.6
Cache County 3-4
Box Elder 3-4