Utah’s forecast is Howard Beale-esque. We’re hot as hell, and we don’t want to take it anymore!
Apologies to actor Peter Finch’s rant as the “mad as hell” broadcaster from the 1976 film “Network,” but Utah continued to be in the sizzling grip of triple-digit temperatures as the holiday-shortened work week got under way.
After a weekend of record-setting heat, the Wasatch Front was to flirt with more hot-temperature firsts heading toward Independence Day. By 3:30 p.m., Monday’s high at the Salt Lake City International Airport hit 103 degrees, breaking the old record for July 1 of 101, set in 1990. Tuesday’s forecast called for the same hot high.
But the state’s most oppressive scorching weather was in the southwest and southcentral regions, where the thermometers were predicted to sigh well above 110 degrees. Overnight lows, if you can really call them that — will be around 80 degrees.
No wonder, then, the National Weather Service put Utah’s Dixie under a Heat Advisory through Wednesday evening. In St. George, Zion National Park and along Lake Powell, highs Monday and Tuesday were forecast to hover around 115 degrees.
Children, the elderly and people with chronic illnesses were specifically warned to stay indoors, hopefully safeguarded by air conditioning. Heat exhaustion and heat stroke were risks for anyone braving outdoor activity during the hottest parts of the day without frequent respites in shade and plentiful liquids.
While the Heat Advisory was in place for the hottest parts of the state, the remainder of Utah was put under a Hazardous Weather Outlook over the next week due to the daytime heat. In addition, hot, dry winds and lightning from mountain thunderstorms posed the risk of potentially explosive wildfires.
The Utah Division of Air Quality gave residents another reason to stay indoors: “Yellow,” or compromised air quality warnings were in place for Salt Lake, Davis, Weber, Utah and Tooele counties. Box Elder, Cache, Duchesne, Uintah and Washington counties remained “Green,” or healthy for breathability.
The Intermountain Allergy & Asthma web site, meanwhile, rated grass and plantain pollens at “moderate” levels, with other allergens at “low.”
Salt Lake City’s high on Tuesday was pegged at 103, same as forecast for Monday; Ogden looked for 100 and 102 degrees, respectively; Provo 101 and 103; Logan 100s; Wendover 102s; Duchesne 92s; Cedar City 101 and 100; St. George 112 and 113; and Moab 101 and 102 degrees.
Death Valley tentatively ties nation’s June high temp
The National Weather Service says California’s Death Valley National Park tentatively recorded a high temperature of 129 degrees on Sunday, which would tie the all-time June record high for the United States.
The weather service’s Las Vegas office on Monday posted to its website a photo of a Park Service thermometer showing the mercury on June 30.
The reading preliminarily ties the U.S. June mark of 129 degrees recorded on June 23, 1902, at Volcano, a former town near the Salton Sea in southeastern California.
The reading, however, is short of the all-time, world record 134 degrees set in Death Valley on July 10, 1913.
Meteorologist Chris Stachelski in Las Vegas says it will take a few months for Sunday’s apparent record to be certified.