The 2020 Utah windstorm was a hurricane-force windstorm that struck the U.S. state of Utah in the early morning of September 8, 2020. It is estimated that the windstorm had reached a 12 rating on the beaufort scale.[2]

2020 Utah windstorm
View of a damaged grave, the result of a fallen tree.
View of a damaged grave at Fort Douglas, the result of a fallen tree.
FormedSeptember 7, 2020
DissipatedSeptember 8, 2020
Highest gust100+ mph
Lowest temperature20 °F (−7 °C)[1]
Power outages200,000+ households
Areas affectedUtah

Impact edit

Fruit Heights, a neighborhood just 15 miles (24 kilometres) from the Utah State Capitol, saw gusts of up to 146 mph (235 km/h) during the event.[2] A wind gust at the University of Utah was recorded at 112 mph (180 km/h).[3][4]

Nearly 200,000 homes and businesses lost electrical power. Thousands of trees were toppled, causing much damage and closing dozens of parks. More than 100,000 residents were still without power by September 9. By September 11, just under 35,000 households were still without power. Almost one week after the windstorm, about 4,700 residents were still without power. Many roads and parks were closed for several days to clean up the debris. School classes were also cancelled that day.[5][6][7]

Casualties edit

At around 8:21 AM, 61-year-old truck driver, Donald Hardy was supposed to deliver a shipment from Tennessee to South Salt Lake, Utah when the wind knocked him to the ground, causing him to hit his head hard on the pavement. He was killed instantly.[8]

Response edit

Governor Gary Herbert called the Utah National Guard and declared a state of emergency. The previous time the Utah National Guard was called was for the 2011 Davis County windstorm.[9]

Causes edit

An Arctic system moved into Utah from the northeast. Then a cold front swept through from the east Monday night (September 7) into Tuesday morning. It was later followed by the low-pressure system that pushed out the vacating high-pressure system that had previously set up across the state. Temperatures were brought from the 90s down to the 40s Fahrenheit, while snow flurries were also reported in the Salt Lake City metropolitan area. It was part of the same weather system that caused the 2020 Western United States wildfire season.[10]

References edit

  1. ^ Wednesday was the coldest Sept. 9 ever in SLC — and records were set around Utah, Salt Lake Tribune, September 10, 2020
  2. ^ a b "Destructive windstorm slams Utah with gusts to 100 mph". Archived from the original on 2020-09-10.
  3. ^ Williams, Carter (2020-09-09). "Utah windstorm: How it happened and how it fits in with other extreme weather events in state history". KSL. Retrieved 2023-07-21.
  4. ^ Forgie, Adam (2020-09-08). "Downed trees, semis as winds reach 112 mph in Salt Lake City". KUTV. Retrieved 2023-07-21.
  5. ^ "44,000 remain without power after Utah windstorm". Archived from the original on 2020-09-10.
  6. ^ Weaver, Jennifer (2020-09-13). "1,605 power outages in Utah impacting 8,882 customers from hurricane-strength winds". KUTV. Retrieved 2021-03-22.
  7. ^ "Power still out for about 5,500 Utah customers five days after storm". The Salt Lake Tribune. Retrieved 2021-03-22.
  8. ^ "Woman witnesses her husband's death during Utah wind storm". KSTU. 2020-09-10. Retrieved 2021-03-22.
  9. ^ "Utah declares state of emergency after windstorm knocked down thousands of trees". The Salt Lake Tribune. Retrieved 2021-03-24.
  10. ^ "Utah windstorm: How it happened and how it fits in with other extreme weather events in state history". Retrieved 2021-03-24.