National Park

Flash flood alert issued for Capitol Reef National Park

A cold front could also bring strong winds.

(Trent Nelson | The Salt Lake Tribune) Capitol Reef National Park on Friday May 10, 2019.

A cold front through Utah could cause flash floods and high winds in parts of the state on Tuesday afternoon and evening.

A National Weather Service flash flood warning is in effect for south-central Wayne County until 6:15 p.m., particularly in Capitol Reef National Park, which is in the middle of its busiest season.

By 3 p.m., between half an inch and an inch of rain had fallen on the park, the weather service said. Heavy rains and thunderstorms could cause “life-threatening” flooding in streams and waterways and on highways. Grand Wash and Capitol Gorge roads were closed Tuesday afternoon until further notice, park officials tweeted.

The weather service urged people to remain vigilant, even in areas that have not received rain, as distant rains can still cause dry flooding, streams and rivers within minutes.

The storm system will also likely bring high winds to parts of western Utah and northern Utah County. The Great Salt Lake Desert and eastern Box Elder County are subject to a wind advisory until 6 p.m., and wind gusts could reach 45 mph. A wind advisory is also in effect for towns in Utah County north of Provo, where winds could reach up to 45 mph and cause choppy conditions on Lake Utah.

In both regions, winds could blow around unsecured objects, reducing driving visibility and creating dangerous crosswinds for large vehicles.

The Wasatch front could receive rain due to a “narrow band of showers” running from Salt Lake City to Nephi and stretching across the state from Tuesday evening to Wednesday morning, the weather service said.

As the cold front crosses the state late Tuesday, light snow is possible above 9,000 feet across the northern and central mountains, including the Uintas, through Wednesday morning.

Freezing is possible in the Cache, Rush and Sanpete valleys, but only the “peripheral” areas of the Wasatch Front (near Utah Lake and Tremonton) will. Severe freezing conditions are possible in the Cache Valley, along the Wasatch Back, in the Bear River Valley, in the Sanpete Valley and near Panguitch.

The peaks will be back in the 70s in Salt Lake City on Friday and Saturday.