SALT LAKE CITY — A big blast of winter was expected to greet southern Utah early Wednesday as a winter storm cartwheels across the state. Easter Utah also could get hammered.
The two-day storm was expected to leave up to 30 inches of snow in the Utah mountains, the National Weather Service said. It produced dozens of crashes and slide-offs in northern Utah on Tuesday, according to state transportation and highway patrol officials.
Separately, the Salt Lake City suburb of South Jordan reported 27 crashes by midday Tuesday with three people injured. One was hospitalized.
"The vast majority of these crashes were caused by speed too fast for the conditions and following too closely," said Sgt. Samuel Winkler of South Jordan police.
A winter storm warning remained in effect until 4 p.m. Wednesday for central and southern Utah.
In eastern Utah, Dinosaur National Monument closed its exhibit center and quarry Tuesday afternoon because of heavy snowfall, The Salt Lake Tribune reported.
Treacherous driving conditions will confront many Utah motorists again early Wednesday, officials said. They were discouraging travel along Interstate 15 as far south as Cedar City.
In the first major winter storm of the season, Utah's ski resorts reported getting a foot or more of snow by late Tuesday.
Heavy snow was to move to southern Utah and continue until Wednesday, the weather service said.
The snowfall contributed to about 45 notable crashes starting around 5 a.m. Tuesday, the Utah Department of Transportation said. The Utah Highway Patrol offered a higher number, around 75, that included minor slide-offs.
UDOT said it was prepared with 103 snow plows working major roads in northern Utah.
"Our folks have definitely been busy," UDOT spokesman John Gleason said Tuesday. "This is the first big blast of winter weather. It's important for drivers to slow down and give snowplows room to work."