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After chance of weekend showers, dry skies may prevail for Pioneer Day parades

Published July 19, 2012 3:12 pm

Weather • Afternoon, evening showers could dampen weekend.
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2012, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

It's not nice to rain on somebody's parade.

Fortunately, lousy weather is rare during Utah's Days of '47 celebration, especially during the morning hours of July 24 when the big events take place. The most rain ever recorded on July 24th at Salt Lake City International Airport during a 24-hour period was .75 inches in 1955.

Chances are good there won't be rain for the big morning parades Tuesday, though Utah is entering the summer rain season, when afternoon and evening thunderstorms occur regularly. That could be the case this weekend and Monday.

"Monsoon moisture is making its way back into the area," said Monica Traphagan, a forecaster with the National Weather Service's Salt Lake office. "We're seeing mid-level clouds. A moist air mass will remain over the area for the entire weekend. Clouds will be around. There will be scattered showers and thunderstorms in the afternoons. Temperatures will be a couple of degrees above seasonal norms."

The extended forecast calls for a 20-percent chance of showers and thunderstorms Friday, Saturday and Sunday night.

Only a slight chance of rain is predicted for Monday night, July 23, when thousands typically camp along the Salt Lake City parade route.

Temperatures for the weekend through Tuesday will be in the low 90s along the Wasatch Front.

That's certainly better than the record high July 24th temperature of 105 in 1931 or the low mark of 50 degrees set in 1954.

"The driest time for Utah is the beginning of July," said Traphagan. "By the end of July, we start seeing some of the monsoonal moisture, but the brunt of that is typically August."

In St. George, highs will hover around 100 most of the weekend, though there is a 30 percent chance of thunderstorms mainly before midnight on Friday.

Moab temperatures will be in the high 90s much of the weekend, with the best chance of thunderstorms on Friday and Saturday nights.

All of this is good news for Utah tourist officials.

"Pioneer Day not only attracts locals, but it's also popular with domestic and international visitors who want to experience our pioneer culture," said Tracie Cayford, of the Utah Division of Travel. "What visitors love about it is that it is authentic and they are looking for that western experience… We have one of the largest parades in the country. And who doesn't love a parade?"

Especially when the chance of rain on that parade is slight.

wharton@sltrib.com