With a storm that hit central and southern Utah Monday morning - and more predicted this week - most of Utah should have a white Christmas.
Utah County and points south got an early start as residents awoke Monday to a surprise snowstorm, making traveling hazardous in many areas.By midmorning, when snowfall began tapering off, 8 to 12 inches was on the ground in Orem and about 6 inches in Provo. Most of the snow fell between 4 and 9 a.m.
Police agencies reported numerous fender bender accidents and cars stuck off the road.
The Utah Highway Patrol investigated a car-truck crash two miles west of the summit on U-6 in Spanish Fork Canyon. There were injuries, but further details were unavailable by press time.
William J. Alder, meteorologist in charge of the Salt Lake office of the National Weather Service, said the storm, which last week caused high winds in northern Utah before moving into California and back into southern and central Utah, had dropped 10 inches of snow at Duck Creek, near Cedar City, as of 11 a.m. Elk Meadows ski resort near Beaver had received 8 inches; Cedar City, 2-3 inches; Fillmore, 4-5 inches; Brighton ski resort, 2 inches; and Sundance, 3 inches.
A separate storm, expected along the Wasatch Front by Monday afternoon or evening, should bring 1-2 inches to the valleys and about 4-8 inches in the mountains by Tuesday. That storm will bump the storm in Utah County and in central and southern Utah further eastward.
Additional storms are forecast for Wednesday and Friday.
"Whether it storms on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day, there should be enough snow on the ground to classify it as a white Christmas," Alder said.
Temperatures should range from the 30s to the low 20s over much of Utah Monday and Tuesday.