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Utah red flag warning: Much of state in for a blustery weekend

Rocky Mountain Power warned it may shut off power in the Cedar City area as a wildfire precaution.

(Trent Nelson | The Salt Lake Tribune) The Juneteenth flag flies over City Hall in Salt Lake City on Tuesday, June 14, 2022. Salt Lake City and much of the state is in for windy weather for the start of the Juneteenth holiday weekend.

A red flag warning is in effect across most of Utah until 10 p.m. Saturday, according to the National Weather Service, making for a blustery start to the Juneteenth holiday weekend.

From the northern state to its southern borders, south winds of 30-40 mph are expected, with gusts of up to 65 mph. In the southern region, similar wind speeds are expected from east to west.

Affected areas stretch from Brigham City to Bluff. The wind, along with a relative humidity of 5-10%, will create critical fire weather conditions, according to the weather service. New and existing fires could spread rapidly.

Near the Great Salt Lake State Park and Marina on Friday, at least three wildfires had sparked and caused area power outages, prompting the evacuation and closure of the park and marina that afternoon.

[Read more: Great Salt Lake State Park evacuated, closed due to wildfires, power outage.]

The red flag warning was issued along with a high wind advisory until 10 p.m. Friday across most of the state. Blowing dust could restrict visibility, and more power outages are possible.

Rocky Mountain Power issued an advisory to customers in the Cedar City area that it may shut off power through at least Saturday because of “elevated fire conditions.” According to the company, it is “prepared to respond in the event of any outages caused by the incoming high winds.”

[Read more: Wildfire risk in Utah: This year’s forecast, and how to prepare.]

In Salt Lake City, the high hit 100 degrees on Thursday, tying a record set in 2007, followed by highs in the upper 90s on Friday.

It will be somewhat cooler Saturday, though — closer to 90 degrees — and a big drop is expected on Sunday, with temperatures in the low to mid-70s forecast for Father’s Day and Juneteenth.

Temperatures will remain cooler Monday, when many Utahns will have the day off for the observed Juneteenth holiday. There’s a 20% chance of rain on both Saturday and Sunday.

Temperatures will then climb once again — to the mid-80s on Tuesday, about 90 on Wednesday and the mid-90s on Thursday, according to the weather service.

St. George can expect a high of 95 on Saturday, following triple-digit temperatures this week. The forecast then calls for 88 degrees on Sunday, the mid-90s on Monday and the return of the low 100s on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday.

There’s no rain in the forecast in southern Utah.