|Radar image from Salt Lake City at 5:00 MST January 24.|
The glaze of ice turned roads, interstates, and parking lots into skating rinks. At 9:00 a.m. MST all runways of the Salt Lake City International Airport were closed to departures, and it was past mid afternoon before two runways could be opened. It was the first time in 24 years the airport was closed due to ice.Since 1940 there have been only nine other freezing rain events recorded at the airport. The 0.09 inches of freezing rain measured today was the greatest since December 31, 1983. There were dozens of weather-related accidents, and dispatchers reported more than 240 reports of other accidents and slide-offs.
Freezing rain fell as far north as Boise, Idaho. The Idaho Transportation Department closed a 70-mile stretch of Interstate 84 between Boise and Glenns Ferry this morning, and schools closed because of the weather conditions.
|Schematic of freezing rain formation.|
Credit: University of Illinois Department of Atmospheric Sciences.
The atmospheric sounding at Salt Lake City this morning exhibited this typical profile in fairly dramatic fashion.