UPDATED: High winds, gusts continue in Washington County

Stock image, St. George News

UPDATED April 16, 8:30 a.m.  This high wind warning has been extended until 6 p.m. Saturday; other details of Saturday’s forecast included in revised report below.

ST. GEORGE — The National Weather Service in Salt Lake City has issued a high wind warning, originally in effect from noon Friday until 9 a.m. Saturday and since extended to 6 p.m. Saturday. The previous high wind watch is no longer in effect.

Dotted area denotes area subject to high wind advisory for Washington County, Utah, April 16, 2016, radar time 7:53 a.m. | Map courtesy of the National Weather Services, St. George News | Click on map to enlarge
Dotted area denotes area subject to high wind advisory for Washington County, Utah, April 16, 2016, radar time 7:53 a.m. | Map courtesy of the National Weather Services, St. George News | Click on map to enlarge

North to northeasterly winds increasing to 35-45 mph are forecasted, with gusts potentially in excess of 60 mph through gaps and canyons. Saturday’s advisory forecasts winds 30-40 mph with gusts up to 60 mph through the gaps and canyons of Washington County.

Affected Area – updated Saturday

Utah’s Dixie, including Zion National Park. According to the weather service’s advisory Saturday morning, the strongest winds are expected to remain tied to the gaps and canyons across Washington County.

Timing – updated Saturday

Increasing Friday afternoon, with peak gusts expected late Friday afternoon through Friday night. Winds will remain gusty at times Saturday but winds originally expected to decrease below hazardous levels by late morning; but Saturday’s advisory forecasts the strongest gusts for Saturday morning, gradually decreasing through the afternoon hours.

Impacts

Strong and gusty northerly winds will impact travel across the area, especially along Interstate 15 north of Leeds. Additionally, these strong winds will create dangerous conditions for boaters on area reservoirs, including Quail Creek and Sand Hollow reservoirs.

Precautionary/preparedness actions

A high wind warning means a hazardous high wind event is expected or is occurring. Sustained wind speeds of at least 40 mph or gusts of 58 mph or more can lead to property damage. Vehicles, especially high-profile vehicles, can be difficult to control at times in high winds. Motorists should take extra caution, especially while crossing bridges, overpasses and unsheltered areas.

 

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