Ushered in by thunder, lightning and locally heavily rainstorms, the first of a series of wet roundhouse slaps fell on Utah Wednesday as storm clouds rolled in from the northwest.
It was a pattern of brief, dry periods between waves of water-engorged clouds expected to repeat through the remainder of the work week as a cycle of storms continued to drift through the state en route to a southeastern exit into the Four Corners region and beyond.
Even before sunrise Wednesday, 24-hour rain totals throughout Utah approached an inch overnight. As of 6 a.m., Salt Lake City had topped half an inch with locally higher totals in some other Salt Lake Valley locations.
West Jordan and Sandy reported flooding in low-lying intersections as the morning commute got underway, and the Utah Highway Patrol alerted drivers to be wary of the potential for hydroplaning along soaked freeways. More than a dozen homes reportedly experienced basement flooding in southwest Salt Lake County, many of them in West Jordan’s 7000 South and 3200 West area.
Murray reported .84 inches of precipitation by early Wednesday and Orem was at .70. Those totals were expected to accumulate a bit more throughout the day.
Eastern Utah’s Grand County also was dealing with heavy rain, too. State Route 128, from mileposts 18 to 30, was closed at dawn Wednesday due to flooding, the Utah Department of Transportation said.
The Wasatch Front looked for the rainfall to lessen Wednesday afternoon, but scattered thunderstorms were expected to resume toward evening and continue throughout Thursday. High temperatures were to range into the mid-80s both days.
Southern Utah, hit so hard by storms earlier this week, was dealing with less-intense, isolated rainfall as the midweek arrived. That was good news for Washington County, where officials kept close watch on swollen rivers and streams and several homeowners cleared water from their basements.
High temperatures on Thursday for Utah’s Dixie were expected to be around 90 degrees, the same as Wednesday.
One of the great things about rain is how it scrubs the air of pollutants. The Utah Division of Air Quality rated the entire state in the "green," or healthy category heading toward the weekend.
The Intermountain Allergy & Asthma website listed chenopods as "very high" and mold and ragweed at "moderate" on the pollen index as of Wednesday.
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