SALT LAKE CITY -- Storms are bringing rain, sleet, snow and even freezing rain to parts of Utah Saturday, and emergency crews have responded to numerous weather-related crashes.
The National Weather Service in Salt Lake City said travelers in Cache Valley should use extreme caution due to a freezing rain warning in effect until 4 p.m., and Saturday afternoon they noted that even as freezing rain changes to snow and snow accumulates, there may still be ice beneath the snow.
Freezing rain occurs when snowflakes melt while falling and then re-freeze almost instantly upon reaching the ground, creating icy conditions.
The NWS said sleet has been spotted in Sandy and at Salt Lake City International Airport. Sleet occurs when snowflakes partially melt while falling through shallow layers of warm air before re-freezing and eventually reaching the ground as frozen rain drops that bounce on impact. Sleet can accumulate on the ground much like snow.
Around 2 p.m. the National Weather Service said rain and sleet at Salt Lake City International Airport turned to snow. Rain has turned to snow in Ogden, Logan and the U of U as well. Fox 13 Meteoroligist Brek Bolton said as of Saturday afternoon the benches have received a dusting of snow while mountain areas have gotten up to 2 inches.
The slick conditions caused of series of crashes on US 89/91 near Sardine Canyon around 11:45 a.m. At least 12 cars crashed or slid off the road in the area, but all injuries were minor. Drivers in the area reported running into black ice.
And at 2 p.m. South Davis Metro Fire stated a rollover crash occurred at I-215 and Redwood due to slick roads. Crews at the scene said there were no serious injuries and the occupants of the vehicle declined medical treatment.
Trooper Matthews with the Utah Highway Patrol said roads near Heber City "froze solid" Saturday morning and that winter weather conditions contributed to seven or eight crashes within a few minutes of each other on SR-189. All injuries were minor.
SR-189 was closed for about two hours Saturday morning due to the poor conditions and those crashes. Matthews said SR-189 was "pretty much frozen into an ice rink" at the time.
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