SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4) – Happy Friday, Utah! Thursday brought severe thunderstorms and flash flooding to the state, and we will close out the work week with similar scenarios.
The bottom line? To round out the workweek we’ll see scattered showers and thunderstorms statewide with near seasonal summer heat.
The overall setup does not change much today, with high pressure to the east of us and a low-pressure system to the southwest that doesn’t move much along the coast of California, allowing for moisture to move continually northward. The surge of monsoon moisture interacts with a system lifting through the area this afternoon and evening, so another day of widespread thunderstorms is expected, especially in Southern and Central Utah.
With an abundance of moisture present, our risk of flash flooding remains “probable” across all southern Utah recreational areas and the Mighty Five. On days where flash flooding is probable like today, it’s best to avoid backcountry hikes; especially ones that involve slot canyons, dry washes, and burn scars. We saw several advisories and warnings yesterday, and we could see that again today so no matter where you are, if you have outdoor plans, be mindful of the weather today! The flash flood potential for Zion National Park has been upgraded to “expected,” so it will not be safe in low-lying areas.
Other than being a fraction cooler today, our weather pattern won’t see many changes to close out the workweek with high pressure still sitting to our west with low pressure to our west. Expect highs in the mid to low 90s statewide. That southerly flow between the two will allow moisture to continue filtering in, resulting in more potential for scattered showers and thunderstorms statewide. More pockets of heavy rain are likely and due to this, the National Weather Service has issued a FLOOD WATCH for the central mountains and all of southwestern and south-central Utah.
As we move into the weekend and early next week the forecast gets a bit tricky for us. This is due to the potential additional moisture from what is now Hurricane Hilary in the east Pacific. In the coming days, it is projected to move north and by the time we get towards the back half of the weekend into early next week, the weakening storm will likely be in either Baja California or southern California. While Hilary won’t have a direct impact on us, depending on the track, there’s a chance we could see deep tropical moisture find its way into the Beehive State.
Just how much moisture we get is still up in the air as some models keep the bulk of the deepest moisture to our west while others filter in the moisture. At this point, this weekend into next week looks active with healthy storm coverage each day expected to persist, but just how much we see will need to be ironed out. If we do end up receiving the tropical moisture, we’d see an increased risk of flash flooding.
Temperatures this weekend will also ease down with southern Utah expected to see the biggest drop. By Sunday we could see a high well into the 80s in St. George while Salt Lake will fall to around the 90-degree mark which is very seasonal. All signs are pointing to some moisture hanging around through the first half of next week which would mean we’ll hold onto storm potential as temperatures gradually ease to near averages by the middle of the week statewide.
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