School closed, flights delayed as snowstorm hits Rocky Mountains

Monday, February 3, 2020
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A dog walker crosses the road Monday in Salt Lake City, after a winter storm dropped up to 11 inches of snow in parts of the valley.

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — A major snowstorm that hit the Rockies overnight has closed schools and stretches of highways in Wyoming and Utah and caused flight delays lasting hours at Salt Lake City’s airport.

Most areas of the Salt Lake City area recorded seven to 11 inches of snow as of Monday morning, with the storm expected to continue throughout the day, said National Weather Service meteorologist Steve Rogowski. 

Many of the largest Utah school districts took the rare step of canceling classes while colleges, courts and government offices planned to delay opening until later in the day. 

Flights at Salt Lake City International Airport were delayed 60-90 minutes. The Utah Highway Patrol said it responded to 93 crashes throughout the state. 

Heavy snow closed long stretches of Interstates 80 and 25 and other roads across central Wyoming, where up to a foot of snow was forecast at lower elevations.

The National Weather Service posted winter weather warnings for Wyoming including a blizzard warning for a stretch of Interstate 80 that could experience both heavy snow and wind gusts up to 55 mph.

The storm also shut down schools, a community college and the local airport in Casper in central Wyoming.

In Colorado, the storm brought freezing drizzle and light snow to the populated Front Range region Monday morning, a day after residents enjoyed temperatures in the 70s. 

The precipitation was expected to switch to all snow later in the day and continue through Tuesday along the Front Range and in Colorado’s northern mountains.

The storm is expected to track across the Rockies on Monday before moving into the south-central U.S. and the eastern part of the country later this week, the National Weather Service said.