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An overnight winter storm is expected to slow Thursday morning's commute to a snowpacked, icy crawl along northern Utah's interstates and highways.

The National Weather Service, placing the central and southern Wasatch Front under a Winter Storm Warning through 11 a.m. Thursday, predicted that a snow-ice mix would precede the arrival of the new storm late Wednesday. Early Thursday, 2-6 inches of fresh snow will fall in valley locations, and 1-2 feet or more in mountain locales.

A Winter Weather Advisory was in effect through 5 a.m. Friday for the eastern Uinta Mountains and Tavaputs Plateau. Propelled by winds of 5-15 mph, 5-10 inches of new snow was expected to fall in the area.

The Utah Department of Transportation warned that the combination of sub-freezing temperatures and past snowfall now packed atop a layer of road ice could make travel especially hazardous.

The Utah Highway Patrol, mindful of the hundreds of crashes and slideoffs that had troopers scurrying during more recent storms, pleaded with motorists to avoid unnecessary travel, and if they must drive to slow down, increase following distances, and to generally exercise extreme care behind the wheel.

Troopers handled about 20 winter-related crashes during Wednesday morning's commute, UHP reported.

Wednesday's wintry weather gave the Salt Lake and Tooele valleys a temporary morning reprieve, but northern Utah's Cache Valley got 8-10 inches of fresh snow. Streets in Logan were slippery and snow-clogged, forcing the Cache County School District to cancel kindergarten and delay classes at elementary, middle and high schools by two hours.

Provo got only 2 inches of snow early Wednesday, but with past accumulated snowfall it was apparently enough to collapse the roof of the Multi-Voice Radio building at 505 E. 1860 South just before 11 a.m. No one was hurt.

The Utah Avalanche Center echoed the wintry winds, declaring the mountains above Logan, and in the Uintas, as "high" for the risk of potentially deadly backcountry mountain snowslides as of Wednesday. The Ogden, Salt Lake and Provo districts were rated "considerable" for avalanche danger, while the Skyline, Moab and Abajo mountains were graded "moderate."

At least all that stormy weather improved the quality of the air we breathe. The Utah Division of Air Quality awarded "green," or healthy grades statewide through the remainder of the work week.

After dawning with lows in the mid-teens. The Wasatch Front's forecast Wednesday was for highs in the upper-30s. Thursday, however, will see temperatures plunge to a daytime high of 23 degrees in Salt Lake City. Along with an inch or two of snow; Friday will be even colder, 19 degrees; overnight lows will be in the single-digits both Thursday and Friday.

While northern Utah feels Old Man Winter's wrath, southwestern Utahns will skip this particular storm. St. George, with a high of 52 degrees on Wednesday, expected another 52-degree day on Thursday, while Friday's high was forecast to be on the low-40s. Overnight lows will range between the upper-20s to upper-30s.

The state's southern mountains, however, were under a Winter Storm Watch through Thursday evening. Snow accumulations from 8 to 18 inches were expected.

For more extensive forecast information visit the Tribune's weather page at

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