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PROVO, Utah (AP) -- Strong canyon winds in Utah Valley this week have hampered watering during the hours when many water-restricted cities are requiring residents do their watering.
"The area, which is in the midst of a five-year drought, has been hit with warm, dry, canyon winds for 15-hour stretches and affected the way people do outside watering," said David James of the Brigham Young University weather station.
One of the longer bouts of canyon wind episodes in recent memory "has been playing havoc with outside watering near the mouths of all canyons in Utah County this week," he said.
Spanish Fork, Springville, Orem, Highland and Cedar Hills have had persistent 20-30 mph winds from about 7 p.m. to 10 a.m. every day this week, he said. Gusts have been reported as high as 40 to 50 mph in spots.
"Since this windy time corresponds with mandated watering times in many cities, residents have had a particularly difficult time keeping the water from evaporating and keeping the remaining water from blowing away onto streets, sidewalks and driveways," he said.
"Many residents have resorted to doing their watering earlier in the evening or during the midmorning hours to avoid wasting water in the persistent wind," he said.
Businesses and homeowners with automatic timers set for nighttime watering are seeing large, dry spots in their grass landscape, he said.
Canyon breezes are normal nightly occurrences in many of these areas but this week's winds have begun earlier, lasted longer and been stronger, he said.
Nighttime temperatures in many of these locales have stayed in the 70s and 80s for much of the night before briefly dropping into the 60s, which has not helped, he said.
(Copyright 2003 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)