Heavy rains expected; flash floods possible
Moisture from tropical storm likely to push storms in tonight
The National Weather Service has issued a flood watch for today extending through Monday for eastern Utah and most of western Colorado.
A flood watch means that conditions may develop that lead to flash flooding and mudslides, the Weather Service said.
Moisture from Tropical Storm Ivo will pull up from the Southwest across portions of the Mojave Desert and southern Great Basin beginning late tonight and will linger over the area through Monday, meteorologist Jeff Colton said.
A jet stream over the area will provide large-scale lift and will combine with the moisture to create the potential for moderate to heavy rain and flash flooding, he said.
Locally, slot canyons, burn areas and streets with poor drainage are the places to be most careful around, Colton said.
This includes Unaweep Canyon, De Beque Canyon and sections of Interstate 70 that run next to the burn scar left from last year’s Pine Ridge Fire, he said.
Flash floods and mudslides in these areas pose the greatest risk, with the heaviest rains expected for tonight, Colton said.
Normally dry washes and drainage channels may contain flowing water at times. Water flowing across roadways may make those roads impassable. Burn areas from recent fires will be especially prone to flash flooding and debris flow, he said.
“There will be times during the watch period where rainfall intensity is not that high but the potential for bursts of heavy rain exists from late tonight through early Monday evening,” the Weather Service said.
Flash flooding is a very dangerous situation and people in and near the watch area should be alert to the potential for heavy rainfall.
“Be especially cautious at night when it is harder to recognize the dangers of flash floods. If flash flooding is observed, act quickly. Turn around and take another route,” the Weather Service said.