Warnings for high winds and extreme wildfire danger were in effect for much of Utah a rain-laden storm system rolled into the region.
That precipitation was expected to cool temperatures Wednesday along the Wasatch Front into the mid-60s, a 30-degree drop from the record highs entered into the National Weather Service’s annals earlier this week.
The high wind warning, in effect for western half of the state from the Wasatch Mountains to the Nevada and Arizona borders, called for shifting breezes in the 10-25 mph range with gusts reaching near 60 mph by late Tuesday. Authorities warned drivers of high-profile vehicles, like semi trucks and RVs, to exercise special care.
Winds only made the risk worse for rapidly moving rangeland and forest blazes, and forecasters issued a mid-week “Red Flag” wildfire danger warning covering huge sections of the state, from southwestern Utah’s Washington County stretching to the state’s southeastern corner and northeast to include Vernal, Green River, Moab, Monticello, Blanding and Bluff. Carbon County, in central Utah, also rated the wildfire warning.
Cooler temperatures ruled in forecasts for southern Utah, with highs expected in the upper-80s Wednesday, down sharply from the triple-digit readings earlier this week.
Salt Lake, Davis, Tooele, Utah, Washington and Box Elder counties all began Tuesday with “Yellow,” or compromised air quality, but all sectors of the state rated “Green,” or healthy air quality grades Wednesday and Thursday, according to the Utah Division of Environmental Quality.
Salt Lake City expected a high temperature Wednesday of 66, down from Tuesday’s forecast for 73 degrees; Ogden looked for 64 and 71; Provo 67 and 77; Logan 63 and 69; Wendover 65 and 61; Duchesne 69 and 82; Cedar City 74 and 76; St.. George 87 and 86; and Moab 86 and 97 degrees.