Utah forecast: Big temperature drop expected today
Relief • Rain, thunderstorms expected along Wasatch Front.
Published: May 18, 2012 07:41AM
Updated: May 17, 2012 11:07PM

Several days of unseasonably high temperatures in Utah will give way Friday to cooler weather, including rain and thunderstorms along the Wasatch Front.

The National Weather Service is predicting a difference of 15 to 20 degrees in the high temperature between Thursday and Friday in northern Utah. Salt Lake City’s forecast high on Friday, for example, is 68 degrees, quite a drop from Thursday’s mid-80s.

Isolated showers were expected Thursday night and will likely continue off and on through Friday.

Friday’s morning low in the capital city will dip into the low 40s, slightly below the normal of 48. Logan is expected to see a low of a chilly 36 degrees.

Southern Utahns also could expect relief Friday from a week of hot weather, with temperatures expected to dip from near 100 on Thursday into the mid-80s on Friday. Winds in the 25-30 mph range, gusting to 50 mph, moved into the region late Thursday.

However, rain clouds were expected to be rare in Utah’s Dixie, with bone-dry high deserts, forests and rangelands being buffeted by winds of 20-30 mph.

That climatological combo prompted the National Weather Service to once more issue a red-flag wildfire danger warning for an area including southwestern Utah’s St. George and Zion National Park to Bluff, in the southeast, and stretching into central Utah to Carbon County, as well as Green River and Moab in eastern Utah. The warning extended to 10 p.m. Friday.

Ogden’s high on Friday is predicted at 68; Provo, 70; Logan, 66; Wendover, 84; Duchesne, 74; Cedar City, 72; St. George, 85; and Moab, 86.

After the rain, a “quick” warming is expected under sunny skies statewide. In Salt Lake City, Saturday’s high should be around 70, with Sunday even warmer at 80, and Monday approaching 90. St. George will be in the mid-90s by then.

The front should also improve air quality, which on Thursday was rated “yellow” in Salt Lake, Davis, Weber, Utah, Washington, Box Elder and Tooele counties. Only Cache and Uintah counties maintained their “green,” or good, air-quality grades, according to the Utah Division of Environmental Quality.

remims@sltrib.com