Accelerating snowmelt, forecast of heavy rains prompt warning about Southern Utah waterways

The confluence of the Virgin River and the Santa Clara River, St. George, Utah, Sept. 9, 2014 | File photo by Joyce Kuzmanic, St. George News

ST. GEORGE — The National Weather Service has issued a hazardous weather outlook warning of high-flowing waterways for most of Southern Utah this week in anticipation of heavy rains and accelerating snowmelt.

Regionally affected areas include Utah’s Dixie, Zion National Park, Glen Canyon Recreation Area, Lake Powell and Southern Utah mountains. Isolated to scattered thunderstorms may bring gusty winds across portions of south central Utah Sunday.

In addition to high winds, snowmelt at the mid to high elevations is accelerating at a fast pace due to warming temperatures. This will lead to rivers and streams running high, fast and cold for the majority of spring. Officials are urging people to monitor pets and children when near waterways.

According to the National Weather Service, areas in central and Southern Utah may also experience heavy rainfall Monday and Tuesday.

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