WEATHER

National Weather Service warns of flash flood risk for southern Utah

Jul 13, 2022, 8:15 AM | Updated: Aug 2, 2022, 10:39 am

arches national park pictured, there was a recent death at the park...

Fiery Furnace at Arches National Park. (Devon Dewey.)

(Devon Dewey.)

SALT LAKE CITY — An increased flash flood risk in southern Utah prompted the National Weather Service to warn people to be careful if they’re visiting the area’s national parks.

Glen Merrill, a hydrologist for the National Weather Service in Salt Lake, said the potential for flash floods will increase throughout the week.

“So right now we’re getting the initial surge of monsoonal moisture working into primarily central and southern Utah,” said Merrill.

Where to look out for a flash flood in southern Utah

The Weather Service said the areas that are more likely to see flash flooding are slot canyons, normally dry areas and places where wildfires have burned away vegetation.

“If you get heavy rain in a steeper basin or a slot canyon area, you’re dealing with slick rock, no vegetation, all of the rainfall just runs off of the landscape,” Merrill said, adding “All of that rain, like a funnel, starts higher in the basin and funnels down through these narrow corridors where it all pools together and creates a flash flood.”

Merrill said heavy rain is likely to turn into a flash flood in slot canyons, even if it isn’t raining exactly where you are.

“You can be in terrain — like in a slot canyon — where it’s not even raining overhead, but it might be raining 10 miles away and all of that rainfall eventually comes down through the channel to where you’re at.”

Visiting a national park this week?

By Thursday, the National Weather Service is predicting flash floods will be probable in Arches, Canyonlands, Capitol Reef and Zion National Park.

Merrill said if you’re going to a national park this week, check the weather before you leave and prepare for fast-moving water. He also recommended checking with park rangers when you get there and asking about the weather.

“Keep an eye to the sky when you go out and prior, gather as much weather information as you can,” Merrill said.

The Weather Service also recommended visitors to national parks create a plan for what to do if caught in a flash flood.

Related: Smoke from fires in Utah and beyond impacts western air quality

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Send it to the KSL NewsRadio team here.

Weather

school bus is snowy, cache county school district apologized for not having a snow day...

Jessica Lowell

Cache County School District apologizes for not holding a snow day

The Cache County School District decided to hold a regular school day on Tuesday despite weather conditions. 

2 days ago

Motorists drive in the rain in Millcreek on Wednesday, Feb. 7, 2024....

Adam Small

Utah expected to get more rain and snow this week

An atmospheric river making its way to Utah will bring rain to the valley and snow to the mountains throughout this week.

3 days ago

three skiers on lift shown, snow in utah expected today...

Peter Johnston

Skiers rejoice! A foot of snow is coming to the northern Wasatch Mountains

Brighton, Park City and Solitude will see more than a foot of snow drop today, according to Ski Utah.

7 days ago

Motorists drive in the rain in Millcreek on Feb. 7. Mountain snow and valley rain are back in Utah'...

Carter Williams

Advisory issued as rain and snow return to Utah

The advisory states that some high-elevation locations may end up with another foot of snow or more over the next few days.

8 days ago

...

Adam Small

Avalanche conditions remain considerably dangerous in some areas

According to the Utah Avalanche Center, the danger for people to trigger avalanches is 'considerable' in the mountains from Salt Lake to Provo, and in the Uintahs.

11 days ago

Vehicles in Big Cottonwood Canyon Jan. 15, While utah snow levels have gone down in February, rain ...

Tammy Kikuchi

Utah’s February snow levels are below normal, but it’s no cause for concern

While Utah snow levels have been low early on in February, the extreme amount of rain has been making up the majority of the snowfall.

14 days ago

Sponsored Articles

Mother and cute toddler child in a little fancy wooden cottage, reading a book, drinking tea and en...

Visit Bear Lake

How to find the best winter lodging in Bear Lake, Utah

Winter lodging in Bear Lake can be more limited than in the summer, but with some careful planning you can easily book your next winter trip.

Happy family in winter clothing at the ski resort, winter time, watching at mountains in front of t...

Visit Bear Lake

Ski more for less: Affordable ski resorts near Bear Lake, Utah

Plan your perfect ski getaway in Bear Lake this winter, with pristine slopes, affordable tickets, and breathtaking scenery.

front of the Butch Cassidy museum with a man in a cowboy hat standing in the doorway...

Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

Looking Back: The History of Bear Lake

The history of Bear Lake is full of fascinating stories. At over 250,000 years old, the lake has seen generations of people visit its shores.

silhouette of a family looking over a lake with a bird in the top corner flying...

Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

8 Fun Activities To Do in Bear Lake Without Getting in the Water

Bear Lake offers plenty of activities for the whole family to enjoy without having to get in the water. Catch 8 of our favorite activities.

Wellsville Mountains in the spring with a pond in the foreground...

Wasatch Property Management

Advantages of Renting Over Owning a Home

Renting allows you to enjoy luxury amenities and low maintenance without the long-term commitment and responsibilities of owning a home.

Clouds over a red rock vista in Hurricane, Utah...

Wasatch Property Management

Why Southern Utah is a Retirement Paradise

Retirement in southern Utah offers plenty of cultural and recreational opportunities. Find out all that this region has to offer.

National Weather Service warns of flash flood risk for southern Utah