I woke up this morning to something that has not been seen for several months in the Lake Powell area ~ water falling gently out of the sky in the form of rain!! The South Shore of the Lake Powell area encompasses part of Southern Utah and Northern Arizona and is right in the path of the monsoon weather flow. With an average of 8 inches of rain a year, this is indeed the “high desert” and much of the rain falls in the mid to late summer with the monsoons.
While not an issue in the main towns of Page and Greenehaven, both in Arizona, or Big Water and Church Wells, in Utah, just a few minutes outside of town and off the main streets massive flash flooding can occur. My son, David, has been chasing, predicting, and filming flash floods in this area for many years and captured the first one of the 2012 season a couple of days ago.
This one was filmed in a location called Crosby Canyon which drains to Lake Powell and is accessed from the town of Big Water, UT.
From David’s website, Rankinstudio, where there is much more video ” 1 inch of rain over 1 square mile amounts to over 17.38 million gallons of water that need to be drained. Some of the floods in these were produced when 2 – 4 inches of rain fell over 30 – 60 square miles, over a few billion gallons of water draining down one wash in the desert. These washes are usually bone dry for most of the year until the monsoon rains come.”
Any hiking in the world famous canyons of our area needs to be undertaken with caution and close attention to the weather forecast. It can be warm and sunny where you are at but a storm miles away can cause a flood at your location.
Visit David’s website at Rankinstudio to see more flash flood footage.
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