Mother Nature dished out a full smorgasbord of weather Thursday, including pounding hail, snow, rain, funnel clouds and a tornado in northern Utah.
The heavy storm, which caused dangerous conditions on highways, as well as basement flooding and power outages, was mainly concentrated in the Salt Lake Valley, but other areas of the state reported a myriad of weather-related problems.Strong winds belted the Hanksville, Wayne County, area. Gusts up to 55 mph downed power lines and blew a roof off a building in that area, the National Weather Service reported.
William J. Alder, meteorologist in charge of the Salt Lake office of the National Weather Service, said the major part of the storm moved northeast from the Midvale area about 4:30 p.m. It then hit the Holladay, East Mill Creek and Sugar House areas.
Heavy hail, ranging from three-eighths to a half inch in diameter and 2 to 3 inches deep, fell in the Holladay, East Mill Creek and Mill Creek areas. Some residents were shoveling hail off their driveways near Skyline High School.
The hailstorm was "incredible," one resident said, with massive amounts falling within a few minutes late Thursday. The Farmington area received heavy amounts of hail early Friday.
"We probably got .65 of an inch of water within about 25 minutes Thursday afternoon. That's what caused all the problems. With very dry conditions and the sudden intensity of the storm, there was no place for the water to go," Alder said.
"My street, Arcadia Lane, looked like Emigration Creek. The whole street was gutter-to-gutter water. I haven't seen that much water in the area for a long time," Alder said.
Alder said his office received two reports of funnel clouds, the first about 2:10 p.m. over Dugway, Tooele County, and one over the Great Salt Lake about 5 p.m. Neither cloud touched the ground, but a tornado did touch down on a Hill Air Force Base runway at 5:45 p.m. Thursday.
The sudden downpour of rain and hail caused numerous traffic accidents in Salt Lake County. Fire department officials said basements were flooded in about seven homes in the Mill Creek area.
One area that was hit hard by the Thursday storm and that has been frequently damaged in every other major storm is along Brookshire Drive in the Holladay area of Salt Lake County.
Marvin Seddon, 1329 Brookshire, said about 15 homes and yards are affected by flooding along Mill Creek. The flooding is caused by the design of a culvert that crosses Brookshire. A bridge is needed over the creek so debris can pass through and not plug up the creek, Seddon said.
One area in east Holladay received 1.50 inches of rain; North Salt Lake, 1.95 inches; Eagle Range, Box Elder County, 2.20; Tooele, .90; Ogden, .80; Centerville, 1.50; Olympus Cove, 1.86; Hill Air Force Base, 1.27; but Sandy, only .16.
A 3:30 a.m. power outage in downtown Salt Lake City Friday kept police and Utah Power & Light Co. crews busy for about an hour after a breaker failed. The outage affected the area between North Temple and Seventh South and West Temple and Third East.
When the lights went off, so did a number of burglar alarms. About 30 calls came in all at once, which added life to the police graveyard shift.
"It was a real nuisance, but luckily there was no one out there to take advantage of it," a police department dispatcher said.
Deseret News reporter Wil Grey said a thin layer of snow covered rooftops, yards and I-15 in the Centerville area early Friday.
The slush created winter driving conditions that surprised unsuspecting motorists, Grey said.