Utah forecast: Smoky, hot and dry in north, clear and sunny south
‘Red’ alert • Air quality in northern Utah? Just plain nasty.
Published: September 19, 2012 09:48AM
Updated: September 19, 2012 09:56AM
Al Hartmann | The Salt Lake Tribune A soccer player retrieves a ball during a game at 11th Avenue Park above the obscured Salt Lake City skyline Tuesday afternoon. Low visibility and haze is caused by smoke from wildfires in Idaho, concentrated by a ridge of high pressure. It was a red air day along the Wasatch front.

Hot, smoky and dry. No, not a description of a bad barbecue joint after it has run out of sauce — but it is northern Utah’s midweek weather forecast.

Smoke from fires both in state and from blazes in Idaho and Colorado was capping the Wasatch Front’s valleys with a gray, acrid pall Wednesday, a nasty forecast expected to continue on Thursday. The particulate-heavy haze meant “Red,” or unhealthy air quality alerts for Salt Lake, Davis, Box Elder, Cache, Weber, Tooele and Utah counties; only Uintah County, with a “Yellow,” or compromised air quality grade, and southwestern Utah’s Washington County, which was alone with a “Green,” or healthy breathability rating, escaped being saddled with the worst air quality status.

Northern Utah’s high temperatures Thursday were expected to be in the low-80s, a degree or two cooler than Wednesday’s forecast. Southern Utahns expected highs in the mid-90s both days under clear and sunny skies.

Salt Lake City’s high on Wednesday was forecast at 84 degrees, with Thursday’s high expected to be 84; Ogden looked for 79 and 81 readings, respectively; Provo 85 degrees both days; Logan 82 and 83; Wendover 83 and 822; Duchesne 77 and 78; Cedar City 83 and 84; St. George 95 and 96; and Moab 88 and 87 degrees.