Brace for cold.
As the storm that dumped much-needed snow across Utah moves on and 9 mph winds gust through the valley, temperatures along the Wasatch Front, with wind chill factored in, could plummet Wednesday to a bone-chilling minus 2 degrees. Single-digit readings also are expected Thursday.
With expected cloudy skies into the weekend, KSL meteorologist Len Randolph said temperatures in Salt Lake City may not climb above freezing by Saturday.
The chill factors the next several nights are expected to cause the temperature to dip to zero or below, Randolph said. Monday, five Utah locations set all-time records for the lowest high temperatures.
The storm Tuesday led to more than 170 accidents on roads in northern Utah, 20 of which involved minor injuries, the Utah Highway Patrol said. Twenty-five cars slid off the road between midnight and 8 p.m., and the snowpacked roadways significantly slowed the morning commute.
Drivers could see more of the same Wednesday, which forecasters say has a 20 percent chance of snow.
As of late Tuesday morning, Provo Canyon had reported the state's largest snowfall with 23 inches. Orderville and Levan had 19 inches, and New Harmony had 18 inches. Boulder and Deer Creek both received 12 inches of snow.
Schools were even shut down in Moab, where 8 inches of snow fell in town and more than a foot fell on the outskirts. A school administrator in Moab said he couldn't recall a snow day in his years as a student in the district or his 12 years as an employee.
"We really don't have snow removal equipment here, and it really came down heavy and deep," said Robert Farnsworth, the district's interim business administrator.
Meanwhile, the big winter storm caused huge traffic problems for commuters all along the Wasatch Front. Many roads, including the freeways, continued to be slushy or snowpacked into the afternoon.
The Utah Transit Authority reported packed buses and trains Tuesday and Monday, when the first storm hit the Wasatch Front. Exact passenger numbers were not available.
Two light-rail trains broke down during Tuesday's morning commute. About 6:50 a.m., a train near the University of Utah lost propulsion, and UTA officials cut the remaining train away from the malfunctioning car.
About 7:45 a.m., UTA cut another broken car away from its adjoining car at the Ballpark station at 1300 South. The adjoining car completed the route solo, UTA spokesman Gerry Carpenter said. It was so packed with travelers that many had to wait for the next one.
A Utah Highway Patrol trooper investigating a crash on I-215 near 5000 South suffered a broken ankle or leg when he was hit by another car, said Sgt. Jeff Nigbur.
The incident occurred around 3 p.m. as the trooper was waiting for other units to arrive to slow down traffic. Nigbur said a Honda Civic, traveling too fast for conditions, rounded a corner and struck the back of the trooper's car. The trooper, who was out of his car, was either hit by his own vehicle from the force of the crash or possibly hit by the Civic, Nigbur said. A female passenger in the Honda had to be extricated from the car. She was taken to an area hospital with minor injuries, Nigbur said.
Logan police said a school bus carrying children was involved in a minor crash Tuesday, as well. There were no injuries, said Logan Police Capt. Jeff Curtis.
A travel alert was issued from the Utah Department of Transportation Operation Center. Chains and four-wheel-drive restrictions were in effect briefly Tuesday morning for most of the canyons along the Wasatch Front but were later lifted for Parleys Canyon.Utah's ski resorts got some snow, but not as much as initially hoped. At Snowbird, where 5 inches of new snow fell, business had picked up by early Tuesday afternoon, said spokesman Jared Ishkanian, and the powder offered a psychological boost for skiers. Scattered snow is expected for the remainder of the week.Contributing: Geoff Liesik, Laura Hancock, Lana Groves, Deseret News; and the Associated Press
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