Record-breaking heat is expected to hit Utah over Pioneer Day weekend

Dangerously high temperatures are expected in Salt Lake City.

(Francisco Kjolseth | The Salt Lake Tribune) Sons of Utah Pioneers participate in the Days of ’47 parade in Salt Lake City on Saturday, July 23, 2022. High temperatures near 100C are expected on Monday when the 2023 parade marches through the city.

Along with parades, rodeos and fireworks, there will be record-breaking heat this upcoming Pioneer Day weekend.

The National Weather Service has issued an excessive heat warning for much of Utah and heat warnings for much of the rest of the state. “Hazardous” conditions are expected in Salt Lake City, Ogden, Brigham City, Tooele, Wendover and “most of the valley locations” in the northwest state.

After peaking near 100C on Friday, the warning will apply from 9am Saturday to 9am Sunday when temperatures of up to 10C are expected. In Salt Lake City, that would break records on both days. (The current record for July 22 is 104, set a year ago. The record for July 23 is also 104, set in 2003.)

The all-time high recorded in Salt Lake City is 107°C. Normal highs for this time of year are in the mid 90’s.

And it’s not likely to cool down much at night. According to the weather service, overnight lows through Monday will be in the upper 70s and low 80s.

Scattered showers and thunderstorms are possible on Saturday and Sunday, and the chance of precipitation will increase Monday through Wednesday – although it will still be low.

Southwest Utah is already on an excessive heat warning that will last through 9 a.m. Monday. Temperatures in excess of 110°C are expected in St. George, Zion National Park and Lake Powell. The forecast calls for a high of 111 on Saturday in St. George and 114 on Sunday. That would equal the July 22 record (set in 2005) and break the July 23 record of 112 (set in 1996). The normal maximum is 102.

The forecast calls for slightly cooler temperatures on Pioneer Day, but only marginally — 101 in Salt Lake City and 106 in St. George. And there the highs will continue next week.

Justin Scaccy

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