Hazardous weather outlook: thunderstorms, heavy rain possible

Stock image, St. George News

ST. GEORGE — Fire weather is expected to continue over the next several days, but the National Weather Service is predicting the possibility of thunderstorms moving into the area beginning Sunday.

Affected area

Cache Valley, northern Wasatch Front, Salt Lake and Tooele valleys, southern Wasatch Front, Great Salt Lake Desert and mountains, Wasatch Mountain valleys, Wasatch Mountains near Interstate-80 North, Wasatch Mountains south of I-80, western Uinta Mountains, Wasatch Plateau-Book Cliffs, Western Uinta Basin-Castle Country, San Rafael Swell, Sanpete-Sevier valleys, west-central Utah, southwest Utah, Utah’s Dixie and Zion National Park, south-central Utah, Glen Canyon Recreation Area-Lake Powell, central mountains, southern mountains and southwest Wyoming.

Sunday

Widespread hazardous weather conditions resulting from a very dry airmass and gusty southwest winds are expected again Sunday afternoon and evening across much of the outlook area where fire fuels are critically dry.

Isolated thunderstorms could develop on Sunday across the southern and eastern portions of the area with lightning and strong gusty winds comprising the main threat.

Monday – Saturday

Hazardous weather conditions will once again develop across northwest and central Utah Monday as the airmass remains very dry and gusty southwest winds continue.

Thunderstorm coverage will increase Monday and Tuesday over mainly the mountains and eastern portions of the outlook area then across most of the area on Wednesday. Lightning and strong gusty winds will remain the primary threat from storms on Monday and Tuesday. However, there will an increasing chance of locally heavy rainfall across the southeast Monday and Tuesday, spreading to a larger portion of the outlook area by Wednesday.

Spotter information statement

Weather spotters are encouraged to report significant weather conditions according to standard operating procedures.

Saddle Fire

According to an update from Color Country Interagency Fire Center, the Saddle Fire is currently at 2,298 acres and is 76 percent contained. The fire was started by a thunderstorm and was first detected June 13.

Local fire units took over responsibility for the blaze Saturday. 63 personnel are assigned to the fire.

A warm, dry airmass remains over the fire. Fire activity within fire control lines remains south of Lloyd’s Canyon. Smoke is expected to remain visible for several days.

Prevent human-caused wildfires

While people cannot affect the weather, there are a number of things they can do in their everyday and outdoor activities that can prevent human-caused fires.

  • Check and secure chain chains on vehicles, trucks, trailers and the like for both on-road and off-highway use to be sure they don’t drag and hit the ground. Chains against the ground cause sparks that ignite wildfires.
  • Enjoy campfires in permitted areas only, and be sure they are cold to the touch before leaving them. Stir the dirt with water until it is cold.
  • Heed fire restrictions that are in place – read more here.
  • Be aware of your surroundings when target shooting and avoid areas with cheatgrass and dry fuels.
  • Don’t smoke in fire risk areas except within an enclosed vehicle, camp trailer, building, developed recreation site or while stopped in an area at least 6 feet in diameter that is barren or cleared to mineral soil.
  • Don’t weld, cut or grind metal in fire risk areas.
  • Use fireworks only where permissible in your region. Fireworks safety includes being mindful of your surroundings; not using them near vegetated areas or where you could start structural fires; and putting spent fireworks into a bucket of water, not in a trashcan. If a firework does not ignite, leave it alone – don’t try to reignite it. Have a bucket of water or fire extinguisher nearby as well as a shovel before starting your fireworks.

Email: news@stgnews.com

Twitter: @STGnews

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2016, all rights reserved.

 

 

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