Sophomore Jesslyn Abendroth bundled up Tuesday morning, braving the snow to get to class on time.
“The snow makes me feel cold and wet, and late to class,” she said. “Tiny H2O molecules trying to destroy my life one flake at a time.”
A surprise snowstorm swept in early Tuesday morning, leaving up to a foot of snow and plenty of delays during the morning commute.
While roads were clear as late as 7 a.m., an hour later students were stuck in traffic jams due to heavy snowfall.
“I live in North Ogden and it usually takes 20 minutes to get here, but today it took me an hour and ten minutes,” said freshman Debra Carrillo. “I saw a car flipped over and a lot of rear ends. I usually take Harrison, but today I took Washington because it was cleaner.”
Even pedestrians were affected by the snow. Freshman Harriet Eyikimiaghan’s usual five minute walk to school ballooned into 20 minutes.
“There was snow everywhere this morning, and it was very hard to get here,” she said. “It doesn’t usually take me so long but I had to walk very carefully to avoid slipping.”
UTA spokesman Remi Barron said the bus service had to switch to snow routes, alternate routes that avoid steep hills, once the worst of the storm hit.
For Weber State students, that means buses skipped climbing the hill from Harrison to Skyline Drive, missing the bus stops outside Lind Lecture Hall and the Social Science building.
“Apparently around 8 a.m. the buses went on snow routes,” said Barron. “By 10 a.m. they went back on regular routes.”
UTA anticipated the bad weather and took precautions should the snow pose a problem. Bus routes experienced delays for about two hours, and even Frontrunner was late by five minutes.
“We try to take precautions to avoid accidents and keep people safe, so that’s the reason for the alternate routing,” said Barron. “It does tend to cause delays but that’s unavoidable with snow.”
According to Mike Whetton, the campus shuttle stayed on schedule through the storm, since Facilities Management went out of their way to make sure the route was cleared and salted.
“The onus of responsibility is on Facilities Management crews,” said Weber State spokesman John Kowalewski. “I know from past experience carpenters and electricians will be reassigned to snow removal under conditions like we had today.”
Mark Struthwolf, the general forecaster for the Weather Service in Salt Lake City, said snowfall this morning varied across the Wasatch Front. Cache Valley reported up to four inches of snow, with the northern valley benches seeing between six inches and one foot of snow.
The snow started last night, but didn’t get going until a cold front came in this morning. At that point, the lion’s share of snow hit the valley.
Struthwolf added that during the heaviest part of the snowstorm, visibility was down.
“When the cold front came in, that started at 7:30, and from 7:30 until 8:45 it was one-quarter-mile visibility,” Struthwolf said.
The Weather Service had predicted at least some snow since Saturday.
“Yesterday, we had an advisory out for one to four inches for the valleys and four to eight inches with locally more for the benches,” Struthwolf said. “Twelve inches was probably higher than we anticipated, but not out of the question.”
Unfortunately for snow enthusiasts, Struthwolf said the snow isn’t here to stay.
“This little window of opportunity of a couple storms moving through here, that’s going to be it for the next week to 10 days,” he said. “We’re going back to what we saw earlier in the winter.”
Luckily, that’s just in time for spring break.
Abbigale Williams and
Emilee Atkinson contributed to this story.