Not only is it hot, but it seems a sun-stroked Mother Nature decided to fan the flames of Utah's summer furnace as temperatures north to south were forecast to hit or top the triple digits on Monday.

While the mercury bubbled 10-15 degrees beyond the norm for this time of year, the expected highs of 100 in Salt Lake City and 107 in St. George fell short of record-setting. Still, they were the hottest readings for the date since 1970, when the capital baked at 103 and St. George reached a hellish 115 degrees.

Along with the heat, the forecast for the Salt Lake and Tooele valleys called for thunderstorms and strong, gusty winds Monday afternoon and evening. However, Tuesday will see temperatures dip to the low-90s under mostly clear and breezy skies. The winds ease on Wednesday, with highs in the upper-80s.

There will be less mercy under the summer sun for southern Utahns. Temperatures Tuesday will retreat only a few degrees — to around 102 — in Utah's Dixie, and Wednesday will see 101-degree weather. Also, southwest winds of 10-20 mph will prevail through the midweek.

Persistent dry conditions, hot weather and the wind accounted for the National Weather Service's issuance of a "Red Flag" wildfire danger warning for much of southwestern and southcentral Utah through 10 p.m. Monday.

Smoke from wildfires, along with industrial and motor vehicle emissions, had only northern Utah's Cache and Box Elder counties earning "green," or healthy grades from the Utah Division of Air Quality for the next couple days. All other areas of the state were rated "yellow," or moderate for particulate pollution.

The Intermountain Allergy & Asthma website rated mold and grass as "high" and plantain pollen "moderate" on its index as of Monday.

For more extensive forecast information visit the Tribune's weather page at http://www.sltrib.com/news/weather/.

remims@sltrib.com

Twitter: @remims