Meteorologists say storms dump a lot of powder on Cottonwood canyons

Feb 16, 2021, 7:13 PM
(Carter Williams,, file)...
(Carter Williams,, file)
(Carter Williams,, file)

COTTONWOOD HEIGHTS, Utah– A snowy mess and dangerous avalanche conditions one day, a mess on the roads the next. Ski resorts are loving the fresh powder they’re getting, but weather-watchers say the storm will shift and target the valley floors on Wednesday.

Traveling to Alta and Snowbird ski resorts was impossible Tuesday. Officials with UDOT closed Little Cottonwood Canyon for the entire day because avalanche danger was too extreme.

Department Spokesman John Gleason reported they got reports of multiple slides in the same areas because of heavy snowfall.

“I read a report from UDOT this morning that said we were getting two inches of snow an hour,” Snowbird Ski Resort Communications Manager Sarah Sherman said.

This is the kind of weather Sherman said they had been waiting a long time for. 

At the beginning of the season, they had to make a lot of snow before the holiday season. Now, their snow base is almost eight feet. 

Even though the weather didn’t seem too “frightful” on the valley floors early Tuesday, Sherman says the storms were so severe they had to enact their inter lodge policy to keep people safe while crews mitigated the avalanche danger.

“There were 22 inches of snow here at Snowbird within the last 24 hours.  It’s full-on winter, up here,” she says.

The forecast reported there could be up to our feet of new snow in the higher elevations of the Cottonwood canyons by Wednesday morning, but the storm will hit a different target after that. 

National Weather Service meteorologist David Church said the valley floors along the Wasatch Front will get plenty of snow through Wednesday.

“We’ll see a little bit of a lake enhancement, and there could be, locally, some pretty heavy snow through the morning hours,” Church said.

A lot of the snow is expected to drop during the morning commute, so drivers will need to plan ahead and leave early.

Church revealed, “Through the day [Wednesday], in the valley, we’re looking at maybe another six to 12 inches.  So, we’re finally getting our chance at some real snow in the valley.”

Officials with UDOT are issuing a travel warning for Wednesday, asking people to stay off the roads until 10 a.m.

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Meteorologists say storms dump a lot of powder on Cottonwood canyons