‘Hazardous Weather Outlook’ issued for parts of Southern Utah

Storm in St. George area, Utah, July 3, 2015 | Photo courtesy of Jorge Urprofessor, St. George News

ST. GEORGE — The National Weather Service in Salt Lake City has issued a “Hazardous Weather Outlook” for the western two-thirds of Utah and southwest Wyoming through Wednesday.

Affected areas

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

Thursday

Scattered showers with isolated thunderstorms will exist far across northern Utah and southwest Wyoming Thursday afternoon and evening. Across Southern and central Utah, residual moisture will spawn isolated thunderstorms across the higher terrain Thursday afternoon through early evening.

Friday through Wednesday

Locally critical fire weather conditions are expected Friday and Saturday across portions of southwest Utah.

An upper level trough moving south out of western Canada will nudge a cold front into northern Utah Friday night, then into central Utah Saturday. Showers and thunderstorms are expected along and north of the front through Saturday night. Moisture moving north out of Arizona Friday will collide with the front, bringing the change for strong storms with heavy rain over central and Southern Utah this weekend.

Showers and isolated thunderstorms associated with the trough will linger into early next week. The best chance for showers and storms will be across extreme Southern and central Utah, with locally heavy rainfall possible. High pressure aloft will develop across the region by midweek. Drier air moving into the outlook area will limit any showers and storms to mainly the higher terrain with limited areal coverage.

Precautionary, preparedness actions

If heavy rain causes flash flooding, move to higher ground now. Act quickly to protect your life.

Do not drive your vehicle into areas where the water covers the roadway. The water depth may be too great to allow your car to cross safely.


READ MORE: Rains come down, floods come up; STGnews Videocast, Photo Gallery – Friday, July 3


Turn around. Don’t drown.

Remain alert for flooding even in locations not receiving rain. Dry washes, streams and rivers can become raging killer currents in a matter of minutes, even from distant rainfall.

Please report flooding to your local law enforcement agency when you can do so safely.


READ MORE: Rescue commander tells how to survive a flash flood


The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association and the National Weather Service offer safety rules for flash flooding:

  • Flash flooding is a very dangerous situation
  • Flash flood waves, moving at incredible speeds, can roll boulders, tear out trees, destroy buildings and bridges and scour out new channels. Killing walls of water can reach heights of 10 to 20 feet. You will not always have warning that these deadly, sudden floods are coming. When a flash flood warning is issued for your area or the moment you first realize that a flash flood is imminent, act quickly to save yourself. You may have only seconds.
  • Most flood deaths occur in automobiles. Do not drive your vehicle into areas where the water covers the roadway. Flood waters are usually deeper than they appear. The road bed may not be intact under the water. Just one foot of flowing water is powerful enough to sweep vehicles off the road. If the vehicle stalls, abandon it immediately and seek higher ground. Rapidly rising water may engulf the vehicle and its occupants and sweep them away
  • Do not hike rivers and especially slot canyons while flash flood warnings are in place
  • Do not hike alone and always tell someone where you and your buddy and others are going
  • Get out of areas subject to flooding, including dips, low spots, canyons and washes
  • Avoid already flooded and high velocity flow areas. Do not try to cross a flowing stream on foot where water is above your knees
  • Be especially cautious at night when it is harder to recognize flood dangers
  • Do not camp or park your vehicle along streams and washes, particularly during threatening conditions

During any flood emergency, stay tuned to your NOAA weather radio, commercial radio or television, follow St. George News at STGnews.com and St. George News Facebook for weather alerts and updates relevant to Southern Utah.

Information from the National Weather Service and disaster and emergency services may save your life. The NWS encourages weather spotters to report significant weather conditions according to standard operating procedures.

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