Utah’s weather has been weird this month. Here’s why.

The state’s temperature roller coaster isn’t over yet.

(Francisco Kjolseth | The Salt Lake Tribune) Spring blossoms along Main Street in Salt Lake City on Wednesday, April 28, 2021. Utah has been in for a weird-weather June. The state’s temperatures have climbed to near-record highs, only to plummet to well below normal before shooting back up again.

If you think Utah’s roller-coaster weather has been kind of weird over the last few weeks, you’re not wrong.

The state’s temperatures have climbed to near-record highs, only to plummet to well below normal before shooting back up again.

“We typically go into our driest, quietest pattern in mid- to late June,” Christine Kruse, a lead meteorologist for the National Weather Service in Salt Lake City, said. “It’s starting to get to where it’s really more unusual.”

This June has definitely not been a “quiet” weather month. A week ago, Salt Lake City temperatures sat in the low 90s, about 10 degrees above normal. Last weekend, it hit 97 on Friday and Saturday, 15 degrees above normal. And on Sunday, Salt Lake City set a new record for June 12 with a high of 102 — 19 degrees above normal.

Then a cold front blew in, and temperatures nosedived that night by more than 30 degrees. Monday’s high was 71 (12 degrees below normal) and Tuesday’s high was 69 (14 degrees below normal).

What’s behind all this? Kruse said the northern jet stream typically retreats farther north into Canada this time of year — which means fewer cold fronts are directed through Utah. “But this year, the jet stream has stayed farther south and has kept us in a more unsettled pattern,” Kruse said.

There hasn’t been a lot of precipitation, but Salt Lake City did get 0.34 of an inch of rain Monday — 0.30 more than normal for the date, and more than a third of the 0.95 of an inch that normally falls in the month of June.

(National Weather Service) Temperatures are expected to climb well above normal on Thursday.

The roller coaster ride isn’t over. After highs in the mid-70s on Wednesday (about 10 degrees below normal), temperatures will shoot up into the mid-90s on Thursday and Friday (about 10 degrees above normal).

On Saturday, the forecast high will dip to 89 degrees, before dropping to 81 on Sunday and 76 on Monday — again 10 degrees below normal. And there’s a slight chance of rain on Saturday and Sunday.

“That’s pretty unusual for late June,” Kruse said. “And it’s unusual to have those temperatures and storms this far south. … This is typically the driest time of the year for the state of Utah.”

The National Weather Service’s models do not indicate that a high pressure system will set up shop over Utah in the next week. So it won’t rain for days and days, “but we’re also not going to have our typical weather for this time of year — hot for days and days,” Kruse said. “I don’t see that.”

The jet stream hasn’t affected southern Utah as much as northern Utah, but temperatures there have bounced up and down, too, with multiple daily highs hovering below normal. That’s expected to continue.

In St. George, the forecast high is 101, 99, 91, 87 and 90 degrees on Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday and Monday, respectively. Normal highs for this time of year are 97-98.

There’s no rain in the forecast, but patchy, blowing dust is expected Friday.

There is a chance of rain in southeastern Utah on Friday and Saturday, and, looking further ahead — July 22-28 — Kruse said the National Weather Service’s models indicate that “the odds are tilted toward above-normal precipitation” in that part of the state.

“And in far northwestern Utah, the odds are more favorable for below-normal precipitation,” Kruse said. “That’s indicative that, potentially, the monsoon might be starting up just a little bit early.”

In which case, southern Utah can expect more rain than northern Utah.