The heavens have given skiers a bountiful proportion of the white stuff, with Santa bringing up to 6 feet of the greatest snow on Earth in time for Christmas.
Bill Alder, chief meteorologist for the National Weather Service's Salt Lake bureau, said Saturday that the fourth snowstorm in a week was chugging toward Utah with lots of moisture and cold air."It's cold enough to put snow down in St. George and Lake Powell. The whole state will be white by tomorrow," Alder said Saturday.
Canyons and highways across Utah were opened to traffic Saturday, after up to 60 inches in two days closed Big and Little Cottonwood, Parleys and Ogden canyons.
The snow will start again in the northern Utah mountains after midnight and will hit the valley floor by sunrise, Alder said, just after Santa passes out the goodies.
"He'll need Rudolph" to get through the snow, the meteorologist said.
Heavy snow at times is on tap for Christmas Day, with up to 6 inches in the valleys, heavier amounts on the benches "and probably the Cottonwoods (canyons) three feet at least."
A winter storm warning is in effect for all of Utah through Christmas Day.
Along with the white stuff comes winds, which Alder said at times will cause blowing and drifting snow across highways.
Alta Ski Resort reported a 90-inch base with 19 inches new; the Little Cottonwood Canyon resort has received nearly 5 feet of snow in the past two storms. Down the road at Snowbird, skiers have an 87-inch base with 31 inches of new powder.
Fresh powder is the rule at all Utah resorts, with Beaver Mountain to the north with a 61-inch base and Brian Head reporting 43 inches of snow.
Seven inches of new snow fell Saturday at Elk Meadows in southeastern Utah with a small surge that passed over Utah with snowfall reported in Richfield, Delta and Price. "But this is nothing like the major storm we will have tomorrow."
The storm is the fourth this week to dump copious amounts of moisture in Utah's mountains, which were parched this summer and depleted further by a relatively dry fall. "But this will be the last major storm" in the forecast for the next week, Alder said.