Beware — there could be flash flooding at Utah’s national parks on Thursday and Friday

(Trent Nelson | The Salt Lake Tribune) Hikers at Hickman Natural Bridge in Capitol Reef National Park in 2019. There's a flash-flood warning at the park on Thursday, July 22, 2021.

A flash flood warning has been issued for Capitol Reef National Park, and there’s at least a chance of flooding at all of Utah’s national parks and national monuments on both Thursday and Friday.

The flash flood warning is in effect from 11 a.m. until midnight in Capitol Reef, the surrounding area and south central Utah. There were flash floods at the park on both Tuesday and Wednesday, although there were no reports of injuries.

According to the National Weather Service, thunderstorms and heavy rainfall are expected to develop on Boulder Mountain, and may move down to “sensitive areas” and slot canyons in the park and the Escalante River basin. That could result in flash flooding in slot canyons and normally dry washes and streams.

Flash floods are “expected” in both Capitol Reef and the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument on Thursday, according to the National Weather Service. Flooding is “probable” in Bryce Canyon, Glen Canyon, Natural Bridges, Grand Gulch and the San Rafael Swell; it’s “possible” in Arches, Canyonlands and Zion.

On Friday, flash flooding is “expected” in Grand Staircase-Escalante, Natural Bridges, Grand Gulch and Zion; “probable” in Bryce Canyon, Capitol Reef and Glen Canyon; and “possible” in Arches, Canyonlands and the San Rafael Swell.

Showers and thunderstorms — including some heavy rain, gusty winds and small hail — are possible in the afternoons across much of Utah through Wednesday.

There’s a 30% chance of rain in Salt Lake City on Thursday afternoon and evening. Temperatures are expected to be in the low to mid-90s through Monday, with overnight lows near 70.

There’s a 20-30% chance of rain in the St. George area through Sunday, and a slight chance on Monday. The forecast calls for highs near 100 and lows in the mid-70s through Sunday, and a bit of cooling — 94 — on Monday.

This is a developing story.

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