If last week's monster storm was the "biggie," Friday's snowfall was, well, a mere aftershock. And there are a couple more aftershocks headed toward the Wasatch Front over the weekend.
Friday's storm "was not anywhere near as heavy" as the Feb 24-25 record-breaking snowstorm, said William Alder of the National Weather Service.Still, conditions were nasty enough to close schools and prompt traffic havoc along the Wasatch Front and in the Park City area. The section of Bangerter Highway between 4700 South and 5400 South was closed after two dozen cars went off the road.
Davis County officers reported serious problems on I-15 in the south end of the county, from the Beck Street area north to 2600 South in West Bountiful. The roads were so bad that dispatchers said there was at least one car off the road every half-mile on the rest of I-15 and U.S. 89 through the northern end of the county.
No serious injuries were reported.
The National Weather Service predicted the snowy weather might continue through Saturday, particularly in the mountains. Another snowstorm was poised to strike the state Sunday afternoon or evening, although it won't be as big as Friday's storm.
Almost 5 inches of snow had fallen at the Salt Lake Airport by mid-afternoon, while as much as a foot of snow was recorded in some Weber County communities. And the snow was still falling in the evening.
Utah County endured little more than a trace, although that could change if the "lake effect" sends the storm through central Utah, Alder said.
Skiers had cause to celebrate. Almost 20 inches of new snow blanketed the mountains in northern and southern Utah.
Unlike last week, the Salt Lake International Airport remained open throughout the storm.
Weber County and north Davis County took the brunt of the weather. Canyon winds reportedly caused blinding snow for highway motorists north of Layton. Weber State University officials closed the main campus and Davis County facility Friday afternoon.
After a busy morning commute, Utah Highway Patrol troopers were called back into action about 2 p.m. when road conditions soured. Several accidents were reported on both sides of the Salt Lake Valley.
"We did have several multi-car accidents on I-215, including some with injuries," UHP Lt. Verdi White said of the afternoon melee.
By late Friday afternoon, the Utah Department of Transportation had issued a formal black-ice warning as the wet and slushy roads began to freeze. It was that black ice that led to the rash of fender-benders up and down the Wasatch Front as commuters headed for home.
A UHP trooper suffered minor injuries when his parked car was hit by a moving vehicle near the I-15 on-ramp near 500 South, White said.
Saturday's flurries are expected to be minimal, 1 to 3 inches at the most, and will be confined mostly to the mountains. Then another storm front rumbles in on Sunday afternoon that will affect most of northern Utah, including the valleys.
Is there any end in sight? Actually, meteorologists say temperatures could rise into the 50s by Tuesday.