High winds continued to whip southwestern Utah early Thursday after much of the rest of the state suffered the same fate Wednesday afternoon and evening. A high-wind warning was continued through
Thursday afternoon for parts of central Utah.Probably induced by a microburst or downdraft, wind gusts were clocked at 75 mph Wednesday evening in west Kearns, while Cedar City recorded 59 mph winds at about 5 a.m. Thursday, said William J. Alder, meteorologist at the Salt Lake International Airport.
The Utah Highway Patrol's Cedar City office reported that wind gusts tore part of a roof from a mobile home in that community early Thursday. Names of the occupants and the address were not available, but apparently no one was injured, a patrol dispatcher said.
Traffic south on I-15 was hampered by strong wind and very poor visibility Thursday morning, the dispatcher said.
"The wind has really been whipping all night, with tumbleweeds and dust flying all over. It's as clear as a bell - if you can see over the dust," the dispatcher said.
High winds casting a dusty haze across Salt Lake Valley Wednesday were also responsible for a widespread power outage in West Valley City.
Utah Power & Light spokesman Dave Eskelsen said winds blew transmission wires to the ground and cut power from an area of 1100 West to 2700 West and 4800 South to 7000 South. No substations were affected.
Crews were also busy responding to dozens of reports of lines down and scattered outages.
"Wind can cause havoc out there - trees fall on lines and others blow too close to each other," Eskelsen said.
Wind gusts sliced a triangle-shaped piece of glass from a basement window in the home of Barbara and Donald Dietz, who live near 6100 South and 4400 West in the Kearns-West Jordan area.
"No one was in the room, but we sure heard it happen," Barbara Dietz said.With the winds whipping up dust from southwestern Utah counties, the Salt Lake Valley and surrounding areas had became a dust bowl by Wednesday afternoon.
"The valley became gunked up with dust. I could see it pouring into our valley near the Point of the Mountain as I was driving home about 3:30 p.m. Wednesday," Alder said.
Accompanying the winds were higher temperatures, as the mercury rose to a high of 83 degrees Wednesday - so far the warmest day of the year - at Salt Lake International Airport. The temperature should reach the upper 50s or lower 60s Friday and Saturday. Sunday should be warmer along the Wasatch Front, probably in the mid-60s.
Showers are also possible. A total of 0.44 of an inch of rain was measured Wednesday night and early Thursday at Wendover. The weather forecast calls for a 60 percent chance of measurable rain through Friday in the Provo, Ogden and Salt Lake areas.
A high-wind warning was posted early Thursday for Iron, Beaver and Millard counties and the Sevier Valley. And a lake-wind advisory was issued for Lake Powell through Friday evening.
Clocking the wind
West Kearns 75 mph
Utah Test Range 55
Salt Lake City 50
St. George Airport 44
Hill AFB 35