On the last day of the month, Salt Lake City hovered on the threshold of marking its warmest month in the annals of the National Weather Service.
Utah's capital reached 101 degrees on Wednesday. And if temperatures stay above 74 degrees until 1 a.m., as forecasters expected, Salt Lake City will set the monthly record.
Including this year, the seven warmest Julys on record in Salt Lake City have all occurred since 2002.
Record or not, a hot and windy forecast and dry conditions prompted a Red Flag Warning for elevated danger of wildfires beginning Thursday.
The advisory covered roughly the northwest quarter of the state, stretching from the Idaho and Nevada lines south to Milford and Manti and is in effect from noon to 9 p.m. on Thursday. Along with extremely low humidity and already parched high desert grasslands and forests, the region expected winds of up to 30 mph to make the risk for new, fast-moving blazes high.
The Wasatch Front looked for high temperatures Thursday in the upper 90s and winds in the 10-20 mph range, a forecast that mirrored that for Wednesday.
Southern Utah also expected winds of 10-20 mph to offer some relief as the mercury climbed well past 100 degrees on both days.
Salt Lake, Davis, Box Elder and Weber counties were graded "Yellow," or compromised for breathing heading into the latter part of this week. The Utah Division of Air Quality rated the rest of the state's monitoring stations at "Green," or healthy.
The Intermountain Allergy & Asthma web site, meanwhile, warned of elevated levels of chenopods (moderate) and mold (high) on its pollen index.
Salt Lake City's high temperature for Thursday was expected to reach 97 degrees, down from Wednesday's high of 101; Ogden looked for 93 and 96, respectively; Provo 95 and 97; Logan 93 and 95; Wendover 94 and 100; Duchesne 87 and 86; Cedar City 89 and 89; St. George 102 and 102; and Moab 94 and 98.