Utah forecast: Cooler and wet, flooding possible south
Published: September 11, 2013 09:22AM
Updated: September 16, 2013 05:27PM
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Chris Detrick | The Salt Lake Tribune Samantha Steeman, 14, of Newark, and Hina Ueno, 13, of Provo, practice for the U.S. International Figure Skating Classic at the Salt Lake City Sports Complex Wednesday September 11, 2013.

A slow-moving storm caused widespread flooding in southern Utah Wednesday, while lighter rain along the Wasatch Front made the oppressively hot summer seem like a distant memory.

National Weather Service meteorologist Randy Graham said the southern part of the state was getting “quite a bit of flooding” Wednesday morning.

State Road 24 was closed due to debris flows just east of the Capitol Reef visitors center as well as between Caineville and Hanksville. Flooding also closed State Road 95 south of Hanksville.

Graham said mud also had flowed over State Road 12 near the town of Escalante, and early Wednesday morning rain sent debris down the Seeley Fire burn scar and onto State Road 31, near Huntington.

“We’ve had widespread, long duration rainfall event where we’re putting a lot of water down there,” Graham added.

Later Wednesday, the Utah Department of Transportation reported that State Road 29, east of Castle Dale in Emery County, was closed due to debris and flooding.

The rain prompted the National Weather Service to issue a flash flood watch for the entire southern half of the state Wednesday. A flood warning also was in effect from the area just east of Kanab to the San Rafael Swell. In St. George, a more serious flash flood warning was in effect until Thursday.

Graham said the flooding and rain was the result of a slow-moving, subtropical storm that was moving north from Arizona. The storm should continue moving north Thursday and Friday, leading to more precipitation along the Wasatch Front. Graham said urban areas shouldn’t have major flooding problems though rain could send debris down burn scars.

In the meantime, the weather in Salt Lake County and surrounding communities remained cool and wet. According to the National Weather Service, highs along the state’s most populous corridor Wednesday will hover just below 80 degrees. The lower temperatures will be accompanied by numerous rain showers and some thunderstorms. Temperatures will dip a few degrees Thursday.

Temperatures in southern Utah will reach about 80 degrees Wednesday.

Along with the cooler temperatures, the state should see clean air, with the Utah Division of Air Quality predicting “green” conditions across the state.

Forecasters predicted a high in Salt Lake City 79 Wednesday and 78 Thursday; Provo should see highs of 78 and 79, respectively; Ogden 78 and 76; Logan 77 and 76; Duchesne 69 and 72; St. George 80 and 83; Moab 79 and 82; Park City 68s; and Wendover 77 and 75.

jdarymple@sltrib.com