A day after near-record highs lured people outside and out of winter's haze, Mother Nature pulled a fast one Tuesday, dusting the Wasatch Front with another snowstorm.
The storm sent the downtown business crowd running for cover, canceled softball games in the 'burbs and padded the state's already bulging snowpack.
And it might not be done just yet.
"I'm told this is what spring is like here," said National Weather Service meteorologist Eric Schoening, a Texas transplant. "In Texas we have summer and fall and a week of winter. I've been waiting for it to warm up here for the last two months."
Schoening, along with the rest of us, might have to wait a little bit longer.
The Weather Service forecaster said there is a 30 percent chance of snow today. In a pre-weekend tease, temperatures could then top 50 degrees Thursday and Friday, before once again giving way to storms later this week, Schoening said.
Tuesday, the afternoon snow flurries amounted to precious little precipitation at the Salt Lake airport, where the National Weather Service reported .02 inches of rain.
In the ski season's death throes, Utah's mountains, where snowpack levels are more than 100 percent of average, received a few inches of powder 2 at Alta, 5 at Snowbird, according to the Weather Service.
"There was snow basically in most locations along the Wasatch Front," Schoening said Tuesday afternoon. "A lot of that is winding down now, but we do have a chance of continued showers Wednesday." That chance sits at about 30 percent, he said.
High school softball games were postponed in Riverton and Taylorsville, and the weather put a soccer game between Brighton and Skyline on hold.
The snow also caused some minor accidents, said Utah Highway Patrol trooper Cameron Roden, but no serious injuries were reported.
As the storm rolled through the state Tuesday afternoon, officials canceled a "red" air quality alert issued earlier in the day.
"The precipitation associated with the storm front has reduced the blowing dust," the state Department of Environmental Quality said in a statement lifting the alert in Salt Lake, Davis, Weber and Utah counties. "Conditions are now moderate because of particulate matter."
High winds were blowing dust in the northern part of the state, prompting the alert.
Earlier in the day, officials cautioned sensitive people, those with respiratory diseases or heart disease, the elderly and children, to avoid prolonged or heavy exertion outdoors and to avoid "dusty" situations.
Pete Wilensky, lead forecaster with the National Weather Service in Salt Lake City, said southwest and northwest winds escorting a cold front into Utah picked up dust from the dry Sevier Lake in Millard County and from the Salt Flats and West Desert.
"That combination has created a real dusty environment," Wilensky said.
The precipitation helped control the dust, and winds were expected to die down even more overnight, he said. "Tomorrow things will be back to better air quality."Winds remained strong into the early afternoon with gusts from 40 mph to as high as 60 mph in the Tooele Valley. Sustained winds ranged between 25 mph and 35 mph. A dust plume coming from Millard County was so thick that it could be seen on satellite images.
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