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Utah forecast: Cooler temperatures, thunderstorms and lots of rain

Published July 12, 2013 8:03 am

Flash Flood Watch • Heavy rains could trigger mud slides, flooding.
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2013, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Tired of those alerts about the dangers of excessive heat? OK. How about a Flash Flood Watch, instead?

The National Weather Service says Utahns will get a break from triple-digit temperatures and dry conditions on Saturday as a series of thunderstorms and rain showers continue to roll into the region. That means high temperatures in the upper 80s along the Wasatch Front and the mid- to upper 90s in the southern portions of the state.

The trade-off? Forecasters says locally heavy rainfall could mean sudden swelling of streams and rivers, possible mud slides on unstable slopes — particularly those denuded by wildfires last year — and potential flash flooding in the slot canyons and urban area washes.

The Flash Flood Watch for central and southern Utah — an area of danger stretching south from Utah County through Price, Escalante, Zion National Park and St. George — was in effect from noon Friday into early Saturday morning.

By Friday afternoon, at least two homes in St. George were flooded because of heavy rain, the weather service reported.

The flood warning is likely to be repeated throughout the weekend and into early next week as more wild and wet weather moves across Utah.

All that atmospheric churning has another benefit beyond cooler temperatures and much-needed rain for the drought-stricken state: the Utah Division of Air Quality, which had predicted "Yellow," or compromised air quality into the weekend, on Friday changed that forecast to "Green," or healthy statewide.

The Intermountain Allergy & Asthma website, meanwhile, rated only chenopods and mold at elevated levels, giving them "moderate" grades on its pollen index.

Salt Lake City looked for a high temperature Saturday of 91, up slightly from Friday's forecast for 89 degrees; Ogden expected 88 and 87, respectively; Provo 91 and 90; Logan 86 and 87; Wendover 89s; Duchesne 85 and 82; Cedar City 87 and 81; St. George 98 and 93; and Moab 95 and 92.