OGDEN -- The brief spell of balmy weather early Thursday literally went south in the afternoon, pushed toward Colorado and Arizona by a fierce winter storm that dropped temperatures 20 degrees and dumped heavy snow out of dark clouds.
But at least the air was clear for a few hours. Haze and smog that clutched Top of Utah for more than a week were blown away by the warm winds ahead of the front.
The snowy conditions later in the day made driving in the Top of Utah treacherous and slowed the evening commute for motorists along Interstate 15 and other roads.
Ogden police were investigating about 10 weather-related slideoffs around 5:30 p.m. Thursday that did not result in any major injuries, Lt. Tony Fox said.
"In any storm like we are having, street cleaning equipment is going to be behind the curve," he said.
Road snow and blowing snow will continue along I-15 through this afternoon, according to the Utah Department of Transportation. The heaviest road snow was expected between Layton and the Point of the Mountain near Draper from late Thursday night through this morning's commute.
The Weber Area Consolidated Dispatch Center handled in Weber and Morgan counties 172 reports of weather-related crashes, motorist assists and traffic hazards between 3 p.m and 6:45 p.m. Thursday.
The Davis County Sheriff's Office Dispatch Center also reported more than 60 weather-related traffic incidents during the same time period.
The bad weather is expected to continue through Saturday. The National Weather Service issued both a winter storm warning and a hazardous weather outlook. It said the snow was going to continue heavy through today, with up to 10 inches in the valleys.
Today should be a banner day for skiers, however.
The Weather Service says the Snowbasin area will have steady temperatures around 12, with wind chill values as low as -4, west-southwest wind of 10 to 15 mph and a 100 percent chance of precipitation.
AccuWeather, a private weather service, said the major snowstorm was coming down from the Pacific Northwest through Idaho on Thursday afternoon and would flow over Utah and large parts of the West to the northern Plains.
It said the storm will evolve into a blizzard as it emerges from the northern Rockies, dumping snow over thousands of square miles of the West initially, then over the northern Plains.
Hazardous conditions were predicted for today's commute, with frozen roads and limited visibility making driving dangerous. The latest road conditions can be found at UDOT's website, http://udottraffic.utah.gov/.
The Weather Service said the storm will have blown through by Monday. Temperature inversions, and smog, will return Tuesday.