The Paria area including Page and Kanab and all the surrounding beautiful places has wonderful weather about 85% of the time. There is some snow in the winter which is usually gone by the next day, if not in a few hours. We have very little rain, most of which happens in July and August. And we have the occasional wind storm. We also have about two and a half months of afternoon temperature that are close to or over 100 degrees. We are blessed not to have hurricanes or tornados.
However, those occasional rain storms can be very tricky. Thunderstorms can pop up quickly and tower to great heights in the summer largely due to the high ground temperatures. Summer rain storms are often accompanied by lightning and hail which can be a risk when you may be the tallest thing around in certain areas and not many places to seek shelter.
Most importantly there is a risk of flash floods. Small rivers and dry creek beds called arroyos can suddenly be a mass torrent from storms that can be located 15 to 20 miles away. So you may be experiencing wonderful weather with perfectly blue skies when all the sudden you hear a roar like a train coming from upstream of the dry creek bed you are crossing.
These clouds which are right over the Bryce area produced more than an inch of rain in less than an hour prompting the US Weather Bureau to issue this warning:
|Flash Flood Warning
|Weather Updated: Jul 28 1:38PM
|Issued by the National Weather Service
|For Kane County, Utah
|FLASH FLOOD WARNING FROM 1:38PM MDT FRI UNTIL 4:30PM MDT FRI THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN SALT LAKE CITY HAS ISSUED A * FLASH FLOOD WARNING FOR… SOUTHERN GARFIELD COUNTY IN SOUTHERN UTAH… NORTH CENTRAL KANE COUNTY IN SOUTHERN UTAH… * UNTIL 430 PM MDT * AT 135 PM MDT, DOPPLER RADAR INDICATED A THUNDERSTORM PRODUCING HEAVY RAIN OVER THE HEADWATER AREAS OF THE PARIA RIVER JUST EAST OF BRYCE CANYON NATIONAL PARK. SOME OF THESE CANYONS INCLUDE WILLIS, YELLOW, AND SHEEP CREEK CANYONS. * UP TO ONE INCH OF RAIN HAS ALREADY FALLEN AND THUNDERSTORM ACTIVITY CONTINUES OVER THE AREA. FLASH FLOODING IS EXPECTED TO BEGIN SHORTLY. * IF YOU FIND YOURSELF NEAR ANY OF THESE CANYONS, PLEASE TAKE STEPS TO INSURE FOR YOUR SAFETY.
Take a look at this You-Tube video from last summer which was taken from Highway 89 as it crosses the Paria River just a ¼ mile from our house.
So in the summer months it is best to hike in the morning. If you are spending the night do not camp in a dry creek bed. As you are hiking in the area keep an eye on the cloud build up that is upstream from you if you are hiking in the creek beds. It does not happen often but a flash flood can be very dangerous. Do not try to outrun them. Try to climb the hills on either side. If that is not possible try to climb into any trees that may be nearby. Stay safe and have a wonderful time visiting our area.
~Sarah Kraner Allen