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Lake effect snow and cold weather affects commuters

UDOT Snowplows out early Monday morning (12/16/19) in Tooele County. Photo: Derek Petersen KSLTV

SALT LAKE CITY — Unseasonably cold weather combined with lake effect snow created rough winter driving conditions through parts of the Salt Lake Valley late Sunday and early Monday morning.

KSL Meteorologist Dan Guthrie says to expect colder weather this week.

“Temperatures should be about 37 degrees this time of year but we’re only going to make our way up to 31 today and 32 for the day on Tuesday,” he said on Utah’s Morning News.

Dan says the cold air should move out by the weekend, where we can expect temperatures back to seasonal norms at around 40 degrees.

That cold air coupled with lake effect snow caused issues on the roadways. Troopers reported a number of slide-offs and crashes, especially along I-80 and SR-21. Drive times from Tooele to I-15 reached nearly two hours; at one point, the average speed on that stretch was just 16 mph.

Utah Highway Patrol also reported problems for drivers around Point of the Mountain. Overnight, crews closed all southbound lanes due to black ice. They reopened the roads in time for the morning commute, but delays still lingered.

More snow is expected to reach the area next week; Dan is forecasting a likely white Christmas.