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Storm cleaned the air, caused mess on the roads

SALT LAKE CITY – Breathe while you still can.  Meteorologists say the air quality is going to be great, but, maybe not for long.  Today’s storm cleaned the air, but cased major problems on the roads.

There were 98 property damage crashes on the freeways of Salt Lake and Utah counties, plus another 35 in Davis County.  That doesn’t include slide-offs.  Other storms have caused more crashes, but, UHP Sergeant Nick Street says that crash total still isn’t good.

“[That’s down] from the last storm, which was really bad, on a Sunday, when we had a couple hundred,” Street says.

Even though the freeways were more crowded, thus making traffic move slower, Street says he saw, firsthand, that there were too many drivers moving too quickly.

Street says, “The roadway was wet but it was still snowing.  There were still some slushy places and I was ashamed to see people were still driving 70 miles an hour.  There’s no excuse for driving that fast.”

Weather watchers say this storm had everything we needed to clear the air, for now.  National Weather Service Meteorologist Nick Carr says the storm brought plenty of wind, plus, “We had the cold front and we had the precipitation.  So, this is a really good event, and it will clear the inversion, nicely,” he says.

However, the clean air might not last for long.  There is a weak system that could bring in some cloud cover over the weekend, but, after that, things go back to the way they were before.

“After about the middle of next week, there is a signal that we will have a stronger high pressure [system] which would result in worse inversions,” Carr says.