Snowbasin and Brian Head ski areas close lifts due to extreme winds today

Posted By: The Ski Channel on March 30, 2010 5:30 pm

Powerfully strong winds were ripping through northern Utah today, stirring up dust, dirtying the air, and, perhaps worst of all…closing ski lifts!

Snowbird had to close its tram, and the Brian Head Ski Resort had to close three lifts due to the high winds up there. Neal Olson is a spokesman for the air-monitoring center operated by the Utah Division of Air Quality: “This wind has really picked it up. It’s high everywhere from Salt Lake north,” Olson said Tuesday shortly after 1 p.m. “The Provo area doesn’t seem to be getting it as badly as we are.”

Winds were blowing at up to speeds of 75mph, putting so much dust in the air that people with respiratory problems were forced to wear dust masks or wet handkerchiefs.

The winds should die down later tonight, and Snowbird and Brian Head should be fully functional by tomorrow. Monica Traphagan, lead forecaster with the National Weather Service, said that “there’s a strong cold front that is going to make its way through northern Utah this evening. It’s causing a strong pressure gradient. Winds are howling across much of the state”, but the cold front will decrease the winds.