Utah forecast: Extended cooler, wetter weather ahead
Beginning what could be a week-long spell of thunderstorms and rain showers, northern Utahns anticipated getting a significant break from recent triple-digit temperatures.
However, with those thunderstorms will come gusty winds and the potential for fast-moving, lightning-sparked wildfires. Add to those factors the potential for cloudbursts and flash flooding, and you have the makings of a Hazardous Weather Outlook advisory.
The National Weather Service issued that alert, effective into early next week, for the western two-thirds of Utah. Forecasters were especially concerned with heavy rainfall in the mountains that could quickly swell rivers and streams and inundate slot canyons or trigger mud slides in recent wildfire-scarred areas.
Still, relief from the heat was welcome along the Wasatch Front, where high temperatures on Friday were to retreat into the mid- to upper-80s. Thursday's forecast, ahead of afternoon and evening thunderstorms, called for the mercury to hover in the low- to mid-90s.
For Salt Lake City, which tied a daytime temperature high record of 104 degrees on Wednesday, that forecast was especially good news.
Southern Utahns also were expecting occasional rain showers and thunderstorms. After a sustained spell of highs 110 and higher, Utah's Dixie looked for the mid-90s on Friday, a few degrees cooler than temperatures expected on Thursday.
Statewide, air quality remained in the "Yellow," or compromised category, according to the Utah Division of Air Quality.
The Intermountain Allergy & Asthma pollen index rated mold allergens at "high" levels, while chenopods came in at "moderate."
Salt Lake City's high temperature Friday was pegged at 87, down sharply from Thursday's forecast for 95; Ogden looked for 84 and 92 degrees, respectively; Provo 88 and 95; Logan 84 and 90; Wendover 86 and 85; Duchesne 84 and 92; Cedar City 82 and 87; St. George 94 and 97; and Moab 94 degrees both days.