Salt Lake City set a new mark for the warmest July ever recorded by the National Weather Service, and August promises to keep up the heat.
Utah’s capital reached a 101-degree high on Wednesday. All that was left was for the official thermometer at Salt Lake City International Airport to remain above 74 degrees until 1 a.m. Thursday to reset the monthly record. When the hour of destiny arrived, the mercury read 75 degrees, giving the month the honors of being the warmest July since records-keeping began in 1874.
One hot July:
Salt Lake City set or tied multiple temperature records for July 2013. July was the warmest month on record since 1874. July 2013 saw the highest average temperature for any month, and the highest average minimum temperature. July 2013 had the 3rd highest days at or above 100 degrees. (13 days) July 2013 had the 4th highest average max temperature at 97.1 degrees, and the 4th highest consecutive days at or above 100 degrees. (7 days).
— Source: National Weather Service
The record capped a more than decade-long warming trend for the city. Including this year, the seven warmest Julys on record in Salt Lake City have all occurred since 2002. The previous record for warmest July in Salt Lake City was set in 2007 with an average temperature of 84 degrees, one-tenth of a degree below July 2013’s record-beating mark.
Expectations for continued hot, dry and windy conditions led the NWS to issue a Red Flag Warning for elevated danger of wildfires for the western half of the state beginning Thursday noon and running through 9 p.m.
The Wasatch Front looked for highs on Friday in the low-90s, down from Thursday’s forecast for temperatures in the upper-90s. South winds of 10-20 mph also were expected under mostly clear skies.
Southern Utahns were to see the heat soar well into the low-100s on Thursday and Friday. Winds of 10-20 mph also were expected in Utah’s Dixie.
The Utah Division of Air Quality rated breathability statewide in the "Green," or healthy zone, while the Intermountain Allergy & Asthma web site graded chenopods and mold as "high" on its pollen index.
Salt Lake City’s high temperature for Friday was pegged at 93, down from Thursday’s forecast of 99 degrees; Ogden looked for 89 and 94, respectively; Provo 92 and 97; Logan 88 and 93; Wendover 89 and 96; Duchesne 87 and 86; Cedar City 88 and 89; St. George 101 and 103; and Moab 96 and 93 degrees.
Copyright 2014 The Salt Lake Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.