Continuing dry conditions, hot weather, erratic winds and elevated fire danger furrowed the brows of forecasters as they peered into Utah's weather expectations through the midweek.
Indeed, the conditions that prompted the "Red Flag" wildfire danger warning in effect through Wednesday for most of the state were not likely to ease in the long term — and only briefly in the short term.
"If you're looking for relief from high fire danger in the form of precipitation, that won't be coming within the next week," said Monica Traphagan, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Salt Lake City.
Temperatures were "a little bit" cooler on Tuesday, but were still expected to be some 10-15 degrees above normal statewide — in the 90s in northern and central Utah, and triple-digits in the south — through Wednesday.
Thursday will see a dip into the 80s and 90s, but thermometers will warm once more this coming weekend into the 90s and 100s.
"We will continue to be windy over southern and eastern Utah especially, where we also have low relative humidity. Things will continue to be quite dry," Traphagan said.
Longterm, there likely will be little variance in the potential for wildfires. "The end of June and beginning of July are typically our driest times of the year," she added.
The weather service tweeted that smoke in the Salt Lake Valley appeared to be coming from fires in Idaho and Nevada, with a westerly flow aloft. The Brian Head smoke is moving east-northeast.
The "Red Flag' warning encompassed three-quarters of the state as of Tuesday, an area of forests, grasslands and high deserts extending from Logan south through Ogden, Salt Lake City, Provo and Nephi to Cedar City, St. George. Also within the warning's boundaries was all of eastern Utah, from Vernal south through Green River, Moab and Bluff, and southern Utah from Zion National Park stretching eastward through the Grand Staircase-Escalante regions.
Winds of 10-20 mph, gusting as high as 40 mph, were anticipated throughout the next couple days.
The Salt Lake and Tooele valleys will see highs around 90 degrees on Wednesday, with sunny skies interrupted occasionally by isolated, mostly dry thunderstorms. That mirrored Tuesday's forecast, though highs were a few degrees warmer.
Thursday will see temperatures slip into the mid-80s along the Wasatch Front before climbing back toward 90 degrees on Friday.
Southern Utahns could expect no such relief, however. After highs around 103 on Tuesday, St. George and the rest of Utah's Dixie will see 102 degrees on Wednesday, and 101 on Thursday.
Typical summer air inversions and smoke from the state's wildfires had the Utah Division of Air Quality noting degraded conditions statewide. Only northern Utah's Cache County (with a "green," or healthy grade) escaped the "yellow," or compromised air quality forecast through the midweek for the remainder of Utah.
The Intermountain Allergy & Asthma website reported that mold and grass were "high" on its pollen index as of Tuesday, while plantain was at "moderate" levels. Other allergens were "low," or did not register.
For more extensive forecast information visit the Tribune's weather page at http://www.sltrib.com/news/weather/.