ST. GEORGE — If someone wanted to measure the amount of rain that fell in parts of Southern Utah since Wednesday, they would need at least half of a 12-inch ruler.
The National Weather Service said this week’s monsoonal rains dumped multiple inches of precipitation on the area, with New Harmony, Cedar City and parts of Zion National Park receiving more than a month’s worth of rain in three days.
The weather service said New Harmony took the most rainfall between noon Tuesday and 6 p.m. Thursday, with 6.68 inches of rain. That is nearly four times the average rainfall of 1.71 inches New Harmony receives in August.
A spokesman with the National Weather Service’s Salt Lake City office said that rainfall total isn’t a typo.
“Given the radar estimates and the nature of the storms producing precipitation bullseyes, these appear to be reasonable totals for the 72-hour period,” the spokesperson said.
The Kolob Canyon area of Zion National Park had the second-most rainfall in the area between Tuesday and Thursday with 4.03 inches. Flooding on Thursday forced the closure of all slot canyons in Zion National Park as well as the closure of Kolob Canyon Road.
Cedar City received 1.62 inches of rain but it was a large discharge of water into Coal Creek that caused flooding in parts of Cedar City. According to the U.S. Geological Survey, Coal Creek in Cedar City went from a discharge of 7.67 cubic feet of water per second to 2,000.
The water caused a large amount of rocks and debris to stream down the creek that was behaving more like a river. The rocky debris at one point clogged up the underpass of a bridge where Coal Creek Road splits into Kitty Hawk and West 1045 North. Cedar City Mayor Maile Wilson-Edwards sent out pictures on her Facebook page of a mountain of debris that had to be removed to allow the creek to flow freely again on Thursday.
Further south, the St. George area received its share of rainfall, but it was comparatively much less than their neighbors to the north. The National Weather Service said the lower portions of Washington County received about a tenth of an inch of rain between Tuesday and Thursday.
The bigger-than-expected monsoonal season in Southern Utah is making a dent in the drought – at least in the short-term, according to Fox13Now.com. But an agricultural meteorologist with the U.S. Department of Agriculture said while it will help reduce wildfire fuel in the short-term, there is much more to make up for from a decade of drought to help groundwater shortages and low reservoir levels.
Below are the full totals of rainfall in areas of Southern Utah between Tuesday at noon and Thursday at 6 p.m., as provided by the National Weather Service.
...Southwest Utah... New Harmony - 5625 ft 8 AM Thu 6.68 Cedar City - 6090 ft 7 AM Thu 1.62 Southwest Cedar City - 5705 ft 7 AM Thu 1.58 Brimstone Reservoir - 5620 ft 5 PM Thu 1.09 Cedar City Municipal Airport - 5581 ft 6 PM Thu 0.87 I-15 At Beaver - 5941 ft 6 PM Thu 0.83 Beaver Municipal Airport - 5860 ft 5 PM Thu 0.80 Beaver - 5903 ft 7 AM Thu 0.77 Beaver - 5980 ft 7 AM Thu 0.72 Cedar City 5.6 NW - 5505 ft 7 AM Thu 0.70 Enterprise - 5340 ft 6 PM Thu 0.64 Milford Municipal Airport - 5034 ft 6 PM Thu 0.60 Newcastle - 5306 ft 7 AM Thu 0.60 Jensen Spring - 5744 ft 5 PM Thu 0.47 Cedar City 5 PM Wed 0.25 ...Lower Washington County... Diamond Valley - 4536 ft 7 AM Thu 0.75 White Reef - 3440 ft 6 PM Thu 0.32 St George - 2770 ft 8 AM Thu 0.16 Hurricane - 3239 ft 8 AM Thu 0.12 St George 4.1 SSW - 2554 ft 7 AM Thu 0.12 ...Zion National Park... Zion Np 18 SSE Cedar City - 5100 ft 6 PM Thu 4.03 Zion National Park - 4050 ft 8 AM Thu 0.67 Zion Canyon - 3999 ft 5 PM Thu 0.58 Zion National Park - 5741 ft 5 PM Thu 0.51
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