St. George record-breaking stretch without rain comes to an end – and there’s more to come

Dark clouds hang over Bloomington Hills Elementary School Wednesday with more rain in the forecast through Thursday. St. George, Utah, Nov. 20, 2019 | Photo by David Louis St. George News

ST. GEORGE — The rain that came into Southern Utah on Tuesday and that is forecast to continue through Wednesday has broken St. George’s record-breaking days without rain.

Rain at Desert Canyon, St. George, Utah, Nov. 20, 2019 | Photo courtesy of Sheryl Kolymago French, St. George News

According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, as of Wednesday morning, the record for consecutive days with no measurable rain in St. George ended at 155, a record that stood the test of time since 1893.

“Having that many consecutive days without measurable rain is unusual,” said Christine Kruse, a meteorologist with NOAA. “This record is 34 more days than the previous record.”

Kruse said there is a qualification that should be considered when discussing this “record.”

“You might have had a fluke storm measuring only a couple of hundredths – or other years that were similarly dry – but they just didn’t have consecutive days,” Kruse added. “It is a dry climate in St. George, especially if we cannot develop a robust monsoon season which was the case this year.”

Rain at Washington Elementary in Washington, Utah, Nov. 20, 2019 | Photo courtesy of Stephen McMullin, St. George News

As of 6:45 a.m. Wednesday, St. George had received 1.29 inches of precipitation and 1.06 inches southwest of downtown. Other totals include Enterprise at 1.08 inches, Zion Canyon 0.74, Lava Point near Kolob 1.46, Hurricane 1.52, Cedar City Airport 1.07, Panguitch .80, New Harmony 1.52 and Bryce Canyon Airport at .67 inches.

According to the NOAA website, most of these totals broke records for precipitation during this same time period, with some dating back to 1905 in the city of St. George.

“We should get more as the day goes on,” Kruse said. “It’s going to go on for a while. We are forecasting it should last until late tomorrow.”

Kruse added that the region could expect another quarter to three-quarters of an inch of rain before the system blows through.

Mountain snow is also expected at elevations about 7,000 feet.

A winter storm warning and flash flood watch are still in effect for most of Southern Utah, according to the National Weather Service Salt Lake City office. The winter storm warning is in effect until 4 p.m. Thursday for the southern mountains, with an additional 6-14 inches of snow in the forecast. The flash flood watch is in effect until Wednesday evening.

Copyright St. George News, LLC, 2019, all rights reserved.

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