Storm headed for Utah could be biggest to hit canyons in 2 years


    Utah's mountains were expected to be hit with at least one to two feet of snow on Thursday and Friday, the National Weather Service reports. (Photo: KUTV)

    Utah's mountains are expected to be hit with at least one to two feet of snow on Thursday and Friday, the National Weather Service reports.

    Forecasters predicted the storm could be the biggest to hit Utah's canyons in the past two years.

    2News forecasters predict the majority of the snow will fall in locations above 7,000 feet in elevation. Some places may even see three feet of snow.

    Utah's valleys could expect to see intermittent rain showers throughout the day on Thursday, which would likely become heavier and switch to snow during commuting hours between 5 to 7 p.m. that day.

    Snow showers were expected to continue through the Friday morning commute.

    Forecasters predict wind should also be a factor in the storm. Utahns can expect gusts of up to 35 or 40 miles per hour.

    The Utah Avalanche Center issued an avalanche watch on Wednesday, saying it expected the storm to bring "very dangerous conditions."

    Additionally, The Utah Department of Transportation announced State Route 144 in American Fork Canyon would be closed for avalanche control work from 6 p.m. Thursday to noon Friday.

    UDOT and Unified Police Department Canyon Patrol were busy Wednesday night gearing up for the snow that was to come. The agency paid special care to mountain roads in Utah's Cottonwood Canyons, where traffic to and from resorts increases on snow days.

    The National Weather Service reported the coming storm would likely impact conditions on all of Utah's roadways, including Interstate 80.

    "Expect significantly longer travel times and chain restrictions," the weather service said.

    The Utah Highway Patrol was already warning drivers about the potential impact of the anticipated weather conditions.

    The agency said its troopers had investigated 132 crashes on Utah roads already on Wednesday. It reminded drivers to slow down for snowy conditions and move off the road in the case of a fender bender.

    Troopers think snowy conditions contributed to an incident on Wednesday in which a UHP trooper's car was hit by a vehicle and the trooper had to jump over a median to avoid being hit.

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