Update: Weather alert: Prepare for hail, heavy rains, strong winds in Washington, Kane counties

The Virgin River at approximately 3 p.m. A series of powerful storms swept through Southern Utah Wednesday, Aug 10, 2016 | Photo courtesy of Zion National Park, St. George News

Update: The National Weather Service has issued another severe thunderstorm warning for southeastern Washington County. This warning is in effect until 5:00 p.m. MDT.

At 4:37 p.m. Doppler radar  indicated a severe thunderstorm capable of producing quarter-sized hail. This storm was located near Hurrican, or 12 miles east of St. George and was moving northeast at approximately 30 mph.

Locations expected to be impacted include Washington, Hurricane, LaVerkin, Toquerville, Virgin and Rockville.

Update: At approximately 4:22 p.m. MDT, Aly Baltrus, Zion National Park spokesperson said that the east side entrance and Zion-Mt. Carmel tunnel are expected to reopen in approximately 2 hours, due to mud and rocks in the tunnel.

Update: Aly Baltrus, Zion National Park spokesperson, said that as of 4:10 p.m., the park shuttles have resumed service and the main entrance to the park has re-opened. The east side and Zion-Mt. Carmel tunnel remain closed.

Update: The National Weather Service has issued yet another severe thunderstorm warning for southeastern Washington County. A series of powerful storms Wednesday have impacted the area around Zion National Park. This warning is in effect until 4:30 p.m.

At 4:04 p.m. MDT Doppler radar indicated a severe thunderstorm capable of producing quarter-sized hail and gusty winds to 50 mph. This storm was located near St. George and moving northeast at 25 mph.

Locations expected to be impacted include St. George, Washington, Hurricane, LaVerkin, Toquerville, Leeds and Virgin.

Update: The National Weather Service has issued another severe thunderstorm warning for southeastern Washington County. The warning is in effect until 3:30 p.m. MDT.

At 3:06 p.m., Doppler radar indicated a severe thunderstorm capable of producing quarter-sized hail and strong gusty winds. This storm was located near LaVerkin, or 19 miles northwest of Colorado City and was moving northeast at approximately 30 mph.

Locations that could be impacted include Hurricane, LaVerkin, Zion National Park, Toquerville, Virgin and Rockville.

Precautionary – preparedness actions

If you are in the path of this storm, prepare immediately for large hail and deadly cloud-to-ground lightning. People outside should move to a shelter, preferably inside a strong building and away from windows.

Update: According to Aly Baltrus, Zion National Park spokesperson, both state Route 9 entrances to the park have been closed. Shuttles are stopped in place until the storms passes.

According to the Utah Department of Transportation, SR-9 through Zion National Park is closed in both direction, due to flooding and debris on the roadway. There is no estimate for reopening at this time. Motorists are advised to use an alternate route and expect delays through the area.

ST. GEORGE — The National Weather Service in Salt Lake City has issued a significant weather advisory for southeastern Washington County and west-central Kane County. This advisory is in effect until 2 p.m. MDT. The National Weather Service has also issued a flash flood warning for east-central Washington County and west-central Kane County in effect until 5:45 p.m.

Significant weather advisory

At 1:12 p.m., National Weather Service Doppler radar indicated a strong thunderstorm 7 miles southwest of Zion National Park, or approximately 13 miles north of Colorado City, moving northeast at 35 mph.

Penny-sized hail and wind speeds in excess of 40 mph will be possible.

Impact area

Locations that could be impacted by this storm include Zion National Park, Orderville, Springdale and Rockville.

Precautionary – preparedness actions

If threatening weather approaches, take shelter in a sturdy building.

Flash flood warning

At approximately 1:44 p.m. MDT, the National Weather Service also issued the flash flood warning for west-central Kane County and east-central Washington county. This warning is in effect until 5:45 p.m.

At 1:40 p.m. Doppler radar indicated a thunderstorm producing heavy rain over the drainages in the south end of Zion National Park. Areas include the north fork of the Virgin River in addition to the many slot canyons that flow into this drainage. Flash flooding was forecast to begin shortly after the warning.

Radar rainfall estimates indicate that approximately 1 inch of rainfall has occurred in areas just southwest of Rockville, and these storms are moving through Zion as of 1:45 p.m.

Warning areas

Some locations that will experience flooding include Zion National Park, Springdale and Rockville.

Precautionary – preparedness actions

If you are in Zion National Park or near any of these drainages, please use prudent judgement if you plan on hiking or canyoneering.

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4 Comments

  • Dan August 10, 2016 at 4:37 pm

    There is no Zion River. It is the Virgin River

    • Joyce Kuzmanic Joyce Kuzmanic August 10, 2016 at 5:30 pm

      Of course, you are right, we will correct. Thanks Dan.
      ST. GEORGE NEWS
      Joyce Kuzmanic
      Editor in Chief

    • Nancy Perkins Nancy Perkins August 10, 2016 at 5:37 pm

      Thank you, Dan, for your keen eye. The error has been corrected.
      Nancy Perkins
      ST.GEORGE NEWS
      Editor

  • .... August 10, 2016 at 9:00 pm

    I like the name Zion River. it’s cooooooool dat a gonna be a what I’m a gonna call it

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