Just what snow-shovelers need: after deep accumulations of snow blanketed northern Utah Monday, temperatures plummeted and snow turns into concrete.

"The cold air basically came down behind the storm," said Dave Toronto, warning coordination meteorologist with the National Weather Service office on North Temple. "As the skies cleared, that allowed the heat to escape and radiate out."

Logan residents shivered with a low of 14 degrees below zero Tuesday morning. Other area lows: Alpine, 9; Alta, minus 6; Bryce Canyon, minus 5; Salt Lake City, 12; Wendover, 1; Ogden, 2; Brigham City, minus 8.

Will the weather be warming up? "Oh, it's bound to," Toronto laughed.

The frigid temperatures followed a snowfall so deep that it shut down schools and government offices in Cache and Box Elder counties. Even Utah State University, Logan, was closed by the 19 inches of snow.

High winds gusting up to 90 miles per hour forced the closure of the Sundance Ski Resort Monday afternoon, as well as U-92 for a brief period of time.

According to Sundance Ski Resort staff, the wind gusts began around 11 a.m. and continued to increase in intensity. By noon the resort made the decision to close for the rest of Monday.

Utah Department of Transportation spokesman Geoff Dupaix said wind gusts downed a large tree forcing the road closure.

The resort opened for business as usual Tuesday morning.

From the Idaho border to Salt Lake City, highways were treacherous Monday. Numerous accidents were reported. Freeway overpasses were closed because of accidents, forcing vehicles to exit the freeway for stretches.

One driver reported seeing an upside-down truck. In an accident near Farmington, a small vehicle rammed a large truck and its entire hood was under the truck.

"Just sheer ice" covered the freeway from Layton to Salt Lake City, said the driver.

On Tuesday, traffic officers were tallying their figures, so numbers were approximate. But Utah Highway Patrol Sgt. Doug McCleve said Davis recorded between 75 and 80 crashes and from 25 to 30 slide-offs during Monday's storm.

In Salt Lake County, 123 crashes were reported in which the vehicle was damaged. Thirty-four cashes involved injuries. Thirty-five slide-offs were counted in which neither damage nor injury occurred.

The Highway Patrol was called for assistance on about 100 accidents in Box Elder County.

Weber County drivers experienced 85 incidents, counting both crashes and slide-offs.

If that kind of storm were to hit during the Salt Lake Winter Olympics, traffic chaos could result.

"You get more traffic in our area, it's just going to be compounded," Toronto said.


Contributing: Pat Reavy

E-mail: bau@desnews.com