Flood watches, wind advisories issued as Hilary’s remnants eke past Utah

Aug 21, 2023, 9:53 PM | Updated: 10:26 pm

SALT LAKE CITY — Several flood and high wind advisories remain in effect throughout Utah most of Monday, and even into Tuesday, as the remnants of Hurricane Hilary move through parts of Utah after the tropical storm made landfall in Mexico and California on Sunday.

The National Weather Service issued a flood watch for most of southwest and south-central Utah, which will remain in effect through Monday night in central Utah and Tuesday evening in southwest Utah. It advises that rivers, creeks, streams, slot canyons, dry washes, recent wildfire burn scars and “other low-lying and flood-prone locations” are most at risk by rainfall in the forecast.

The agency may elevate localized areas into flood advisories and flood warnings throughout the day based on what materializes.

The weather service’s high wind warning, which was also issued for the state’s western side, expired Monday afternoon. A wind advisory remains in place for northwest Utah, including Brigham City, Tooele and Wendover, until 9 p.m., where gusts may reach 50 mph.

The advisories were issued as what’s left of Hurricane Hilary, now a subtropical low-pressure system through the West, where flood watches and warnings, and other weather advisories remain in place throughout parts of California, Nevada, Idaho, Oregon and Washington. The storm has already caused widespread flooding where it made landfall.

Utah is not expected to be as impacted because most of the system ended up west of the Beehive State as expected, says KSL meteorologist Matt Johnson. But scattered showers and thunderstorms are expected throughout the day, especially in the state’s western half, which could bring some localized flooding.

“We are picking up a nice little tap of moisture. Showers (and) thunderstorms are expected later (Monday) but not the widespread flooding we’ve seen in Southern California,” he said. “But the chance for storms can bring brief heavy rainfall, microburst winds and maybe even some frequent lightning.”

Scattered showers and thunderstorms are forecast to be more widespread on Tuesday, as surplus water vapor lingers.

While Utah may not be as impacted as other Western states, Rocky Mountain Power officials said Sunday that they are prepared for any damage to utilities caused by the hurricane’s remnants. They said the company has crews “ready to respond to restoration efforts” to any weather-related outages.

“As a reminder, treat all downed wires as live and dangerous. Customers should avoid both downed trees and powerlines as well as keep pets far away from those areas,” officials said in a statement. “It is important for all customers to report power outages as it assists crews in pinpointing the cause and facilitates restoration efforts. Customers can call customer care at 877-508-5088.”

Scattered showers and storms are also in the forecast through most of the remaining workweek as a part of the active monsoonal pattern remains in place. Full seven-day forecasts for areas across Utah can be found online via the KSL Weather Center.

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Flood watches, wind advisories issued as Hilary’s remnants eke past Utah