Utah forecast: Thunder and rain ahead for sizzling, parched Beehive State

A building high pressure ridge will bring monsoonal moisture into Utah Wednesday, punctuated by scattered afternoon and evening thunderstorms and rain showers.

However isolated and brief, the storms should bring some relief to portions of the our desert state that have endured near-record, and well above normal heat for the past week.

It's the kind of rain the late poet John Gould Fletcher wrote could bring "showers [that] surround the mesa like a troop of silver dancers: shaking their rattles, stamping, chanting, roaring, whirling, extinguishing the last red wisp of light."

Along the Wasatch Front, a periodically wet Wednesday will see high temperatures in the mid- to upper-90s, down from Tuesday's triple digits. Take off another few degrees for Thursday's highs, when morning and afternoon thunderclaps and rain interspersed with sunshine.

While those temperatures will fall short of any records for daytime highs, Salt Lake City did set a new mark Tuesday for consecutive overnight lows at or above 70 degrees; Tuesday's low in the capital city was 74, the National Weather Service confirmed.

Southern Utahns, who have endured temperatures near 110 degrees of late, will see Wednesday highs in the low- to mid-90s as intermittent rain storms move into the redrocks and high deserts. Thursday, another occasionally wet day, will also see the heat retreat into the low- to mid-90s.

The Utah Division of Air Quality predicted the entire state will be "yellow," or at moderate levels of particulate and ozone pollution on Wednesday, after Tuesday saw "orange," or unhealthy-for-sensitive-groups conditions for Salt Lake, Davis, Weber, Box Elder and Tooele counties.

Mold was "high" on the Intermountain Allergy & Asthma website's pollen index as of Tuesday, but all other allergens were either "low," or did not register.

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


Twitter: @remims