The National Weather Service is asking Utahns to check on older neighbors and drink plenty of water amid the record-breaking heat that hit Utah this week.
Temperatures in Salt Lake City reached 100 degrees by Friday afternoon, making it the earliest day on record that the city hit 100 degrees. A normal temperature for June 4 is closer to 78 degrees in Salt Lake City, according to the NWS. Salt Lake City hit 100 degrees on June 5 last year, which was a record at the time.
Daily temperature records were also broken in other parts of Utah including Tooele, which saw a high of 97 degrees, Provo BYU, where it was 99 degrees, and Alta, where it was 77 degrees. The previous record highs at those locations for June 4 were 95, 96 and 76 degrees.
In a video posted to Facebook, the NWS warned that heat is particularly dangerous for older adults, children, pregnant women and people with chronic illnesses. Residents with older neighbors living alone should check in on them when temperatures get high, according to the NWS. This plea was echoed by the Davis County Sheriff’s Department.
“It’s another hot one today. Heed the excessive heat warnings and check on vulnerable and older adults in your community to ensure they’re staying cool. Remember, if someone is experiencing heat stroke, call 911 immediately,” the department posted on Twitter.
Signs of heat stroke include nausea, a throbbing headache, no sweating, red or hot skin, a rapid pulse and fainting.
It is also critical that pets and children not be left alone in cars. When it is 80 degrees outside, it only takes 10 minutes for the inside of a car to reach 99 degrees, according to the NWS. Temperatures will get much higher on days when it is already 98 degrees outside.
People can protect themselves from heat-related health issues by wearing loose-fitting clothing, drinking lots of water even when they don’t feel thirsty and spending time in the shade or air-conditioned locations.
More tips for keeping cool are available in an online document through Be Ready Utah. Covering windows and doors with wet blankets can help keep a room cool. People can also put their mattresses directly on the ground since hot air rises. The document also suggests sleeping in wet clothes or in wet sheets.
Salt Lake County Aging and Adult Services is operating “cool zones” throughout the valley until Oct. 15. Those locations can be found online, or by calling the Aging and Adult Services program at 385-468-3200.
Temperatures are expected to go down over the weekend, but will still likely be about 10 degrees higher than normal, according to the NWS. Salt Lake City should fall to a high of 95 degrees on Saturday and 92 degrees Sunday. Other parts of the state should see similar trends. St. George is forecast to be 104 degrees at the hottest part of Saturday afternoon and 100 degrees Sunday. Ogden will likely be 93 degrees Saturday and 89 on Sunday. Green River is predicted to be 100 degrees both Saturday and Sunday afternoon.
People recreating outdoors should continue to plan for heat. Capitol Reef National Park tweeted that people should hike earlier in the day, bring salty snacks and continue to drink lots of water.
A red flag warning, which means there is increased risk of fire danger, is in effect Saturday and Sunday for much of southern and central Utah, including Bryce Canyon National Park, because of the hot, dry conditions.