Flash flood watch, high wind warning issued for parts of Southern Utah

This September 2015 file photo shows the aftermath of flash flooding that claimed the life of at least 13 women and children in Hildale, Utah, Sept. 15, 2015 | Photo by Kimberly Scott, St. George News

SOUTHERN UTAH — The National Weather Service in Salt Lake City has issued a flash flood watch for a portion of Southern Utah in effect Thursday night through Friday evening, along with a high wind watch in effect from Friday afternoon through Friday evening.

Flash Flood Watch

Dots indicate the area subject to the Flash Flood Watch, 9:24 a.m., Southern Utah, Dec. 15, 2016 | Photo courtesy of National Weather Service, St. George News | Click image to enlarge
Dots indicate the area subject to the Flash Flood Watch, 9:24 a.m., Southern Utah, Dec. 15, 2016 | Photo courtesy of National Weather Service, St. George News | Click image to enlarge

Affected area

Utah’s Dixie and Zion National Park, south-central Utah, southern mountains, including the cities of St. George, Kanab, Escalante, Loa, Panguitch and Bryce Canyon.

Timing

From midnight Thursday through Friday evening.

Impacts

An unseasonably moist airmass will continue to filter into the region during the next 48 hours. Meanwhile an approaching strong storm system will ramp up southerly winds, enhancing rainfall on southern slopes.

Flash flooding of normally dry washes, slot canyons, small rivers and urban areas is possible.

Precautionary, preparedness actions

A Flash Flood Watch means that conditions may develop that lead to flash flooding. Flash flooding is a very dangerous situation.

The public should monitor later forecasts and be prepared to take action should flash flood warnings be issued.

High Wind Watch

Dots indicate the area subject to the High Wind Watch, 9:27 a.m., Southern Utah, Dec. 15, 2016 | Photo courtesy of National Weather Service, St. George News | Click image to enlarge
Dots indicate the area subject to the High Wind Watch, 9:27 a.m., Southern Utah, Dec. 15, 2016 | Photo courtesy of National Weather Service, St. George News | Click image to enlarge

Affected area

Utah’s Dixie, south central Utah, Glen Canyon Recreation Area including Lake Powell and the San Rafael Swell, including the cities of Green River, Hanksville, St. George, Kanab, Escalante and Bullfrog.

Winds

Southwest 30 to 40 mph with gusts exceeding 60 mph will be possible.

Timing

Developing late morning Friday, peaking Friday afternoon and evening before diminishing.

Impacts

Strong crosswinds may affect east west routes. Those driving high profile vehicles or towing trailers will be most affected. Residents should secure all light weight outdoor property including loose holiday decorations. Wind sensitive operations may be impacted.

Precautionary, preparedness actions

A High Wind Watch means there is the potential for a hazardous high wind event. Sustained wind speeds of at least 40 mph or gusts of 58 mph or stronger may occur. Continue to monitor the latest forecasts.

High Wind Warning

The National Weather Service in Salt Lake City has additionally issued a high wind warning which is in effect from 10 p.m. Thursday evening to 4 p.m. Friday.

Dots indicate the area subject to the High Wind Warning, 10:07 a.m., Southern Utah, Dec. 15, 2016 | Photo courtesy of National Weather Service, St. George News | Click image to enlarge
Dots indicate the area subject to the High Wind Warning, 10:07 a.m., Southern Utah, Dec. 15, 2016 | Photo courtesy of National Weather Service, St. George News | Click image to enlarge

Affected area

West central and southwest Utah, including the cities of Delta, Fillmore, Beaver, Cedar City and Milford.

Winds

Southwest 30 to 40 mph with gusts exceeding 60 mph.

Timing

Developing Thursday night and peaking Friday morning through mid-afternoon before diminishing late day.

Impacts

Strong crosswinds will affect east west routes. Those driving high profile vehicles or towing trailers will be most affected. Residents should secure all light weight outdoor property including loose holiday decorations. Wind sensitive operations will be impacted.

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.

Turn around. Don’t drown.

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

  • Flash flooding is a very dangerous situation.
  • 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 one 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 STGnews.com 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.

Email: kscott@stgnews.com

Twitter: @STGnews

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2016, 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!

Posted in Local, NewsTagged , , , , , ,

Leave a Reply