Hazardous high winds coming, critical fire conditions

Stock Image, St. George News
High wind watch advisory. Dots denote affected areas in Utah as of April 21, 2014, 7:25 a.m. | Image courtesy of National Weather Service, St. George News | Click on image to enlarge
High Wind Watch advisory. Dots denote affected areas in Utah as of April 21, 2014, 7:25 a.m. | Image courtesy of National Weather Service, St. George News | Click on image to enlarge

SOUTHERN UTAH — The National Weather Service has issued a “High Wind Watch” across Utah as far south as Iron County and a “Red Flag Warning” for all of southern Nevada, all of Mohave County, Ariz., and the Colorado River Valley in San Bernardino County, Calif. Both are in effect for Tuesday from morning through evening.

A High Wind Watch means that there is the possibility of sustained wind speeds over 40 mph, or gusts of 58 mph or stronger. There is also potential for a hazardous high wind event.  A red flag warning means that that critical fire weather conditions are either occurring or are imminent.

Related to the Red Flag Warning, the weather service advises in its alert that a vigorous low pressure system moving out of California into Nevada will bring strong winds to the area Tuesday. This system has very little moisture associated with it and low relative humidity values are expected at the surface.

Affected areas across Utah for high winds – Affected areas include the northern, central and southern Wasatch Front, Sanpete and Sevier valleys, west central and southwest Utah, including the cities of Brigham City, Ogden, Bountiful, Salt Lake City, Tooele, Lehi, Provo, Nephi, Manti, Richfield, Delta, Fillmore, Beaver, Cedar City and Milford.

Affected areas across California, Nevada, Arizona for Red Flag warning – Lake Mead National Recreation area, Colorado River on the Arizona side, northwest deserts and northwest plateau, lower Colorado River Valley, Nye County deserts, Sheep Range-Spring Mountains, Clark and southwest Lincoln County deserts.

Travel weather alert for April 22, 2014 | Image courtesy of Utah Department of Transportation, St. George News | Click to enlarge
Travel weather alert for April 22, 2014 | Image courtesy of Utah Department of Transportation, St. George News | Click to enlarge

Winds and humidity – Across Utah, Southwest winds of 35-45 mph with gusts near 60 mph are expected. For the Salt Lake, Tooele and Utah valley areas, winds will switch to the northwest late afternoon or early evening Tuesday at 35-45 mph with gusts to near 60 mph.

Across southern Nevada and Mohave County, Ariz., widespread southwest winds of 25-35 mph with gusts of 35-50 mph are expected through Tuesday afternoon. Locally higher winds with gusts near 60 mph will be possible near exposed ridgetops and canyon openings. Humidity is forecast with minimum values of 5-15 percent.

Timing – South winds will increase across Utah through the morning hours Tuesday and peak during the afternoon. Winds will switch to the northwest late afternoon or early evening then diminish.

Strong winds will develop across southern Nevada and Mohave County, Ariz., by late Tuesday morning hours around the same time that relative humidities begin to fall below 15 percent. Winds will peak during the afternoon before decreasing Tuesday evening.

Impacts – The weather service warns that dangerous crosswinds could occur across all east-to-west oriented roadways, especially U.S. Highway 6 and state Route 50 in west-central Utah. High profile vehicles and trailers will be most susceptible to these winds. Blowing dust will likely reduce visibilities at times. Outdoor items such as trampolines and lawn furniture should be secured or moved into a protected area.

Red Flag Warning. Dots denote affected areas as of April 21, 2014, 6:40 a.m. | Image courtesy of National Weather Service, St. George News | Click on image to enlarge
Red Flag Warning. Dots denote affected areas as of April 21, 2014, 6:40 a.m. | Image courtesy of National Weather Service, St. George News | Click on image to enlarge

The combination of gusty winds, low relative humidity and dry fuels can create conditions that are favorable for extreme fire behavior.

Road conditions from the Utah Department of Transportation

 

Related post

Email: news@stgnews.com

Twitter: @STGnews

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2014, all rights reserved.

 

Free News Delivery by Email

Would you like to have the day's news stories delivered right to your inbox every evening? Enter your email below to start!

7 Comments

  • Christine April 21, 2014 at 8:38 am

    I wonder what a “high wind event” is…. A tornado? And “critical fire weather conditions” – what does that mean?

  • My Evil Twin April 21, 2014 at 11:01 am

    Well now, according to NWS, these high winds will affect Iron County to our north, Mojave County to our south Clark and SW Lincoln counties to our west. But it looks like Washington County will be clear of the problem. Now I know these weather heads all have degrees of varying uh degree, and are highly edumicated to boot. So if they say it is so, then it is so, and we have nothing to worry about.
    I just wonder if the WIND knows where the Washington County line is. . .:D

  • KanabCowgirl April 21, 2014 at 11:01 am

    Meaning that there’s going to be a LOT of wind, strong wind for a good while. And the wind is going to be very strong as to be dangerous. Red flag warning is for Fire. As in HIGH FIRE DANGER. Conditions will be ripe for a bad fire if things go wrong

  • The Council April 21, 2014 at 11:53 am

    The high wind is because some people just suck.

  • COMBAT VET AND CONSERVATIVE April 21, 2014 at 1:35 pm

    Well now….y’all need to rest assured that should there develop a fire danger, STGNews columnist/contributor Dallas Hyland will come to the rescue, as he is a highly trained “former” firefighter. I’m sure he will do what is right to ensure that his community is well protected from a nasty fire. And that’s if he isn’t working on some feature story for the STGNews that is.

    • COMBAT VET WARRIOR COMMANDO GENERAL April 22, 2014 at 9:28 am

      can’t worry about them fires… Obama’s comin’ for the guns!!!

  • BSMETER April 22, 2014 at 4:22 pm

    I think your moms coming for them guns!

Leave a Reply