Flooding is likely in the Desert Southwest and the Rockies on Wednesday


More than 7 million people are under a flood watch in the desert Southwest and Rocky Mountains as a moisture plume moves in from the Pacific.

“Tropical moisture will move northward into parts of the Great Basin/Central Rockies in the Southwest through Thursday,” the Weather Prediction Center said Wednesday.

This influx of moist air could cause flooding across the region Wednesday through Thursday.

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“Flash flooding and debris flows will be possible, especially in burn scars, mountainous terrain and narrow canyons,” according to the National Weather Service in Grand Junction, Colorado.

The forecast center issued a moderate risk – level 3 out of 4 – for the Great Basin, and the central, southwestern and southern Rockies through Thursday morning. Rainfall of between 1 and 4 centimeters is possible.

The storm could be a ‘summer’ convective event,” the Salt Lake City weather service wrote.

A deep plume of moisture will gradually shift east Wednesday night into Thursday morning.

“Moderate to heavy rainfall is expected through Thursday night,” the weather service office in Grand Junction said. “Also, strong to severe thunderstorms are possible, possibly across the Four Corners area, which could result in even higher rain rates, hail and damaging winds.”

The weather service has also warned of the risk of flooding in national parks in the region. Slot canyons and small creeks are expected to flood, so visitors are urged to be aware of the weather.

Flooding is expected on Wednesday. By Friday, dry weather will return to the region.