While the central U.S. has been warming up the past few days, we’re seeing a different story out west as storms and cooler weather has been moving in. Unfortunately, we’re also seeing heavy rain at times that has led to flooding along the Utah and Arizona border.
Heavy Rain And Flooding Out West
Storms along the Arizona and Utah border Monday afternoon and evening led to a tragic scene in the city of Hildale, UT as flash flooding ended up sweeping two vehicles off a road that were carrying 16 people at the time. As of early Tuesday morning, CNN was reporting that eight people had died and five others were missing. Heavy rain fell in the canyons north of the city and raced down into city, with the Short Creek at Colorado City – just across the border in Arizona – rising over five feet in less than 20 minutes after one batch of storms moved through.
More rain is possible over the next few days along the Utah/Arizona border, with over a quarter inch of rain possible through Thursday morning – and heavier amounts likely in downpours. Rain is also possible across other parts of the western U.S., including the Los Angeles area. Over 1″ of rain has already fallen there this (Tuesday) morning, making it only the seventh September day on record with 1″+ of rain in Los Angeles. Some of the moisture that is impacting the L.A. area is leftover from Hurricane Linda in the Pacific Ocean last week. We’re also watching an upper-level system that will be moving onshore in the Northwest over the next few days that will bring some much needed rain to that region as well.
Cooler Conditions As Well
Meanwhile, after an extremely warm weekend across the west, this week is starting off cool. Yesterday we talked about a shift in the jet stream, bringing warmer conditions to the eastern two-thirds of the nation as it buckled north across that region. Well, the jet stream has slid south across the western U.S., bringing in the cooler weather. Temperatures today will be a good 5-20 degrees below average for this time of year – which could mean 50s and 60s for parts of the Northwest.
(CHECK OUT YOUR FORECAST: wx.aerisweather.com)
– Meteorologist D.J. Kayser