High temperature records could fall this week — and smoke will linger across Utah

There is an excessive heat warning in St. George and Zion on Wednesday.

(Trent Nelson | The Salt Lake Tribune) Smoke over Salt Lake City on Friday, Aug. 20, 2021. Smoke is expected to linger over Utah this week.

It’s going to be smoky and hot across much of Utah through Friday. High temperature records could be broken.

The National Weather Service issued an excessive heat warning for the southwestern corner of the state — including St. George and Zion National Park — until 9 p.m. Wednesday, with highs of 107-108 — 12-13 degrees above normal for this time of the year. The heat will “significantly increase the potential for heat-related illnesses, particularly for those working or participating in outdoor activities.”

Southwestern Utah is not the only part of the state that is expected to see temperatures significantly above normal this week. On Tuesday, the forecast highs were 10-13 degrees above normal in Salt Lake City, Ogden, Wendover, Randolph, Duchesne, Vernal, Nephi, Manti, Price, Cedar City, Milford, Bryce Canyon, Monticello, Kanab, and Big Water, and 5-9 degrees above normal in other areas.

In Salt Lake City, the forecast high was 91 on Tuesday, 94 on Wednesday, and 97 on Thursday, before dropping back to 90 on Friday.

And the air quality isn’t going to be good. Smoke from West Coast wildfires will continue to drift over the state. According to the Utah Division of Environmental Quality, it will be orange/unhealthy for sensitive people on Wednesday in Salt Lake, Davis, Duchesne, Uintah and Utah counties.

The DEQ forecasts yellow/moderate air quality both days in Cache, Carbon, Iron, Tooele, Washington and Weber/Box Elder counties.

There is a chance of showers Friday night and Saturday in northern Utah, when temperatures are expected to be in the 80s.

There will be a little bit of a cool-down in southern Utah, but only a little bit. It will be 107 on Thursday and 103 on Friday, according to the National Weather Service, and in the low triple digits through Monday.

There is no precipitation in the forecast for southern Utah.