Southern Utah, surrounding states: 7-days hazardous weather; flash flood watch

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

ST. GEORGE – The National Weather Service has issued a seven-day “Hazardous Weather Outlook” for the western 2/3 of Utah and southwest Wyoming; and a “Flash Flood Watch” for portions of northwest Arizona, southeast California and Nevada which may overlap into St. George in effect from noon PDT, 1 p.m. MDT, Tuesday through the evening.

Impacts in Utah and Wyoming

Tuesday: Isolated to scattered showers and thunderstorms will again affect the region Tuesday. The strongest activity may bring locally heavy rainfall and small hail.

Wednesday through Monday: A drier and gusty southwest wind is expected to develop mid- to late-week, increasing the threat of hazardous fire weather conditions by the weekend. Meanwhile, storms will likely become more isolated in nature. The main threat will shift from locally heavy rainfall to locally gusty winds as activity becomes higher-based.

Dots indicate the area subject to "Flash Flood Watch" at 6:50 a.m., July 7, 2015 | Map courtesy of National Weather Service, St. George News | Click  on image to enlarge
Dots indicate the area subject to “Flash Flood Watch” at 6:50 a.m., July 7, 2015 | Map courtesy of National Weather Service, St. George News | Click on image to enlarge

Impacts in Arizona, California and Nevada – with overlap into St. George

Showers and thunderstorms will develop across portions of the Mojave Desert and southern great basin Tuesday afternoon and evening.

Any stronger or slower moving thunderstorms could unleash heavy rain which would result in the potential for flash flooding.

Rapidly flowing water could cross roads. Rocks, mud and other debris may wash onto roads. Portions of pavement may be eroded. Roads could be impassable.

Water will also result in rapid flows in washes and will pond in other low-lying spots, especially those that have poor drainage.

Affected areas

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

Nevada, Arizona, California: Esmeralda and central and southern Nye County, Lake Mead National Recreation Area, northwest plateau, Las Vegas Valley, Lincoln County, northeast and western Clark County, Sheep Range, Spring Mountains – Red Rock Canyon; Death Valley National Park, eastern Sierra slopes, Owens Valley and White Mountains of Inyo County.

Precautionary, preparedness actions

Flash flooding is a very dangerous situation. Move to higher ground and act quickly to protect your life.

Read more: Rescue commander tells how to survive a flash flood

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.

Turn around. Don’t drown.

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

  • 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 1 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 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.

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Copyright St. George News, LLC, 2015, all rights reserved.


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