WEATHER ALERT: Slippery roads and ‘thundersnow’ projected; UHP urging drivers to use caution

Mar 24, 2024, 11:16 AM | Updated: 5:30 pm

SALT LAKE CITY — A weather alert will remain active in Salt Lake County through Sunday, and off-and-on showers will be present until Tuesday according to KSL meteorologists and the National Weather Service in Salt Lake City. The Utah Highway Patrol is reminding drivers to slow down and use caution during winter-driving conditions.

The Utah Department of Transportation also announced avalanche mitigation efforts would be active in Little Cottonwood Canyon which will affect travel times and resort access.

A Utah Department of Transportation camera on Interstate 215 and 4700 South on Sunday, March 24, 2024. (KSL TV)

Dangerous road conditions in the valley

Salt Lake City awoke to a cold and wet Sunday after an overnight chill brought valley rain and mountain snow. At approximately 9:30 a.m., the Utah Highway Patrol warned Salt Lake County residents that there had been many weather-related crashes on Interstate 15 and Interstate 80.

“Please slow down, give yourself plenty of time and space as you travel. Eliminate distractions and wear your seat belt. We ask you to delay your travel until conditions improve,” UHP said, in a post made on X.

The National Weather Service in Salt Lake City said “a band of heavy graupel and thundersnow” was moving through the valley, creating the slippery road conditions.

According to KSL Meteorologist Kristen Van Dyke, Sunday morning’s showers were likely a result of lake effect coming from the Great Salt Lake. Van Dyke said continued rain and snow-mixed showers would move through the valley until Tuesday. The low temperatures for Sunday evening were estimated in the mid-30s, she said.

UDOT said state Route 210 would be closed for avalanche mitigation at 1 p.m. on Sunday, along with some access to resort entrances at Alta and Snowbird. The highway reopened around 3:30 p.m.

Brighton and Snowbird resorts reported more than a foot of snow overnight, and snow showers are expected to continue off and on Sunday in the mountains.

Crash numbers

As of 4:30 p.m. Sunday, the UHP said there were 94 crashes around the state.

“I don’t anticipate that number increasing too much unless we get more significant weather,” said Sgt. Chris Bishop of the UHP.

And while the official start of spring was last week, Bishop said drivers can’t let their guard down.

“I don’t know if it’s necessary forgetting, but I think people want to be done with the winter,” he said. “I totally understand that. But we can’t forget how to how to drive safe.”

Bishop said this weekend’s weather should serve as a wake-up call for motorists.

“We just need to remind ourselves to slow down, give ourselves plenty of extra time, put our seat belts on, put the distractions away and just drive real safe,” he said.

In many of the crashes Sunday, Bishop said individuals were wearing seat belts.

“Seat belts are what are truly going to keep people safe in these crashes,” he said. “A lot of rollovers this morning but almost everyone walked away from them because they were wearing their seatbelt. That’s so important…not just in poor weather but all the time.”

Bishop also said it’s important to make sure your vehicle is working properly and encourages drivers to check their tires and windshield wipers.




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WEATHER ALERT: Slippery roads and ‘thundersnow’ projected; UHP urging drivers to use caution