Avalanche danger high across Utah following intense weekend winter storm

Posted at 8:29 AM, Jan 01, 2023

SALT LAKE CITY — Much of Utah was under Winter Storm Warning or Winter Weather Advisory status Sunday as a system brought heavy snow and rain to the state on New Year's Day.

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Some of those warnings and advisories were extended to Monday as the storm system continued to make its way through Utah.

Along with the storm warnings and advisories, SR-210 in Little Cottonwood Canyon was closed to travelers all day Sunday due to avalanche mitigation. Both Alta and Snowbird resorts announced that they would not open their lifts at all on Sunday due to the conditions.

After being closed for the majority of Monday morning, officials reopened the canyon at 10 a.m. Traction devices are required for all vehicles headed into the canyons.

The Town of Alta in Little Cottonwood Canyon was under interlodge conditions for several hours Sunday but the orders were lifted Monday morning.

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Over 41 inches of snow fell at the Sundance Mountain Resort, forcing it to close Sunday to skiers and snowboarders due to the extreme weather conditions. The resort measured nearly 8 inches of rain.

Sundance announced it would stay closed through Monday because dense and wet snow fell on power lines, causing an outage. Due to the outage, lifts could not run and the resort announced it would stay closed until further notice.

Avalanche danger also forced the closure of American Fork Canyon.

Avalanche danger across the majority of Utah mountains was ranked "high" on Monday morning and experts warned that recreators headed into the elements should be cautious and be prepared for any emergency.

Because of heavy rains in the southern portion of the state, a Flash Flood Warning was in place for Zion National Park Sunday afternoon. Park officials said they received reports of flooding in multiple streams on Sunday morning. The warning also includes Springdale and Rockville.

Watch LIVE road conditions from across Utah below

Up to 30 inches of snow was possible in the northern Utah mountains, with 36 inches forecast for the Cottonwoods. The central and southern mountains could receive anywhere from 15-25 inches of snowfall

The snow is expected to continue through Monday afternoon, with southern Utah possibly seeing snow into Tuesday.

On Sunday, Utah Highway Patrol said they responded to 282 crashes. As of Monday at 8 a.m., troopers had already responded to 54 crashes.

Officials reminded Utah drivers to slow down as roads can be slick and snow covered.