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Utah experienced a hurricane... kind of

Gusts reaching 99 mph in some areas would equal Cat. 2 hurricane
Near Hurricane in Utah
Posted at 12:13 PM, Sep 08, 2020

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah — If Utah was in the Southeast or Atlantic portions of the country, residents would have been hearing terms like "hunker down" and "perfect storm" over the last 24 hours due to the storm the walloped the area overnight and Tuesday morning.

PHOTOS: Winds cause heavy damage in Northern Utah

While the system that hit Utah is unable to be classified as a hurricane, the winds that caused so much damage were most certainly hurricane strength.

Gusts reached up to 99 miles per hour in parts of Northern Utah. Hurricanes are measured by sustained winds, but by using gust speed alone, Utah experienced the equivalent of a Category 2 storm; one the National Hurricane Center classifies as a storm that causes extensive damage at landfall.

Winds gusts in Utah:

  • Park Lane - 99 mph
  • Logan Peak - 97 mph
  • Farmington - 97 mph
  • Univ. of Utah - 89 mph
  • Hill AFB - 84 mph
  • Weber Canyon - 80 mph
  • Centerville - 75 mph
  • Brigham City - 75 mph

Going by sustained winds alone, the region experienced a powerful tropical storm (minus the tropics, of course). Tropical storms can also cause considerable damage.

The main difference between what Utah experienced overnight and a real hurricane was the lack of rain and storm surge; the rise in seawater caused by the storm and causes the majority of damages hit by tropical systems.