Boaters beware, drivers take care; strong winds coming

This 2012 photo for illustration shows a boat retrieving swimmers from rough water during an Ironman event. Sand Hollow Reservoir, Hurricane, Utah, May 5, 2012 | Photo by Todd Tischler, St. George News.

ST. GEORGE – The National Weather Service has canceled its high wind watch of Wednesday and issued a wind advisory for Friday for much of western Utah, as well as Glen Canyon Recreation Area and Lake Powell, south-central and Southwest Utah region as well as the Sanpete and Sevier valleys and the San Rafael Swell. Winds and gusts for these regions are forecast for Friday between noon and 10 p.m. at speeds likely to create difficult driving and dangerous boating conditions.

Dots denote areas subject to the advisory for much westen Utah, May 19, 2016 | Map courtesy of the National Weather Service, St. George News | Click on map to enlarge
Dots denote areas subject to the advisory for much western Utah, May 20, 2016 | Map courtesy of the National Weather Service, St. George News | Click on map to enlarge

Affected area

Cities in the affected areas include the St. George,  Cedar City, Milford, Filmore, Detla, Snowflake, Toole, Salt Lake City, Wendover, Brigham City, Ogden, Bountiful, Lehi, Provo, Nephi, Zion National Park, Kanab, Escalante, Bullfrog, Green River, Hanksville and Manti. Lake Powell and other area lakes will be affected as well.

Winds

South to southwest winds at 30-40 mph may occur with gusts in excess of 45-60 mph.

Timing

Winds are expected to develop late Friday morning and continue through Friday evening.

Impacts

  • Strong crosswinds will result in hazardous travel conditions for high profile and light weight vehicles along all east-west oriented roadways including Interstates 70 and 80, and U.S. Highways  50 and 89
  • Areas of blowing dust will significantly restrict visibility
  • Rough waters will develop on area lakes
  • Unsecured lightweight items may be displaced in sudden strong wind gusts including trampolines and lawn furniture.
  • Wind sensitive operations will be affected
Dots denote areas subject to the advisory at 8:31 a.m. on Thursday, Garfield, Washington and Kane counties, Utah, May 19, 2016 | Map courtesy of the National Weather Service, St. George News
Dots denote areas subject to the advisory at 8:31 a.m. on Thursday, Garfield, Washington and Kane counties, Utah, May 19, 2016 | Map courtesy of the National Weather Service, St. George News | Click on the map to enlarge

Precautionary/preparedness actions

A wind advisory means that sustained wind speeds of at least 31 mph or gusts of 45 mph are expected.

Motorists in the advisory area should be prepared for sudden gusty crosswinds which can make driving difficult.

The strong winds will create dangerous boating conditions on area lakes. These winds will create very choppy water and generate large waves which could capsize or swamp small craft.

For your personal safety, operators of small craft are urged to postpone their outings until the winds subside.

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

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