Valley rain, mountain snow breaks Utah dry spell as slow storm moves into state

Valley rain, mountain snow breaks Utah dry spell as slow storm moves into state

(Chopper 5, KSL TV)

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SALT LAKE CITY — Rain is falling in the valleys and snow is dusting the mountains on Wednesday as the first significant storm in several weeks has arrived at the Wasatch Front.

A flash flood watch is still in effect for southwest Utah, and the storms put an end to a very long stretch without precipitation to that area.

Rain will be present off and on throughout Wednesday for the Wasatch Front, according to KSL Weather’s Grant Weyman. Cooler air also moves in with the slow-moving storm system, he added.

Rain and snow is likely across the Wasatch Front for Thursday, and the cooler weather will continue into the weekend, Weyman said.

People driving through mountains or canyons across the state should be prepared for chain or four-wheel drive restrictions at any time throughout Wednesday and Thursday, according to the Utah Department of Transportation. Road snow in higher elevations will be heavy at times on Wednesday, especially in the southern Utah mountains, according to UDOT.

Strong gusting winds from the east are also expected in the canyons from Davis County to Brigham City, UDOT said.

As of early Wednesday morning, most areas of the Salt Lake Valley had seen just .01 inch of rain, but West Valley City got .06 inch, according to the National Weather Service in Salt Lake City.

Southern Utah, however, received more precipitation overnight, according to the weather service.

The town of Enterprise, southwest of Cedar City in Washington County, recorded 1.08 inches of precipitation as of early Wednesday morning.

Cedar City broke a rainfall record for November 19, the weather service said in a tweet. Tuesday’s .45 inch of rain broke the old record of .32, set in 1979.

Several other locations have broken precipitation records for November 20.

The previous record for St. George on that date was .2 inches, set in 1905, but that record was obliterated Wednesday as 1.29 inches had fallen there as of 9:30 a.m., the weather service said.

That's also the most precipitation ever recorded for a single November day in St. George dating back to 1893, according to the weather service. The area went from experiencing over 150 days without any precipitation to breaking a century-old record.

Precipitation records for November 20 also were broken in Panguitch, New Harmony, Cedar City airport, Bryce Canyon airport and Capitol Reef National Park, according to the agency.

Lava Point, in the far northern part of Zion National Park, had the highest precipitation total of any place in Utah, recording 1.46 inches of precipitation as of early Wednesday. A handful of other locations in the southern Utah mountains also recorded at least an inch of precipitation, according to the weather service.

A flash flood warning is in effect for most of Zion National Park, as well as Springdale and Rockville south of the park, until 11:15 a.m. Wednesday, the weather service said.

The rainfall is causing several waterways, including the Virgin and Santa Clara rivers, in Washington County to rise, NWS said. Washes in the St. George area are also getting water, the agency said.

Check the full weather forecast at

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