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SALT LAKE CITY — Utah weather is all over the place this week.
The National Weather Service issued an excessive heat warning for most valley communities along the Wasatch Front and in northern Utah, which takes effect Tuesday afternoon and remains in place through at least the end of Thursday. Meanwhile, the agency's meteorologists say other parts of the state could experience flash flooding as a result of monsoonal moisture arriving in the state.
Feeling the heat
Monday was a "cool down" of sorts for the Wasatch Front. The high of 97 degrees matched the lowest high temperature of the past 10 days in Salt Lake City, snapping a streak of three days with at least 100 degrees in Utah's capital city.
KSL meteorologist Matt Johnson said the high-pressure system that was forecast to arrive from the southeast is now over the state, and it's fueling the hot temperatures expected Tuesday and through the end of the week.
The weather service's warning includes communities in the Salt Lake Valley north to Brigham City, as well as Tooele and Rush valleys, eastern Box Elder County and the desert and mountains by the Great Salt Lake. Federal meteorologists wrote that "dangerously hot conditions" with highs of 100 to 104 degrees are forecast for those areas between Tuesday and Thursday. Overnight temperatures are forecast only drop to the mid-to-upper 70s during that time before the warning expires at the end of Thursday.
"Extreme heat will significantly increase the potential for heat-related illnesses, particularly for those working or participating in outdoor activities," the alert states.
Utah County's valleys are listed in a heat advisory, which states temperatures won't be quite as hot but still hot enough to impact health. Highs in St. George will also exceed 100 this week, though, that's not as unusual.
The weather service recommends that people:
- Drink plenty of fluids.
- Stay in an air-conditioned room, or at least out of the sun, and check up on relatives and neighbors. Wear lightweight and loose-fitting clothing when possible.
- Take extra precautions if you work or spend time outside, including possibly rescheduling any strenuous activities to early morning or evening.
- Never leave young children or pets in unattended vehicles under any circumstances.
- Check up on relatives and neighbors who may be prone to heat-related illnesses.
The heat doesn't only pose a problem for people but infrastructure, too. The Utah Department of Transportation reported that excessive heat caused concrete panels on the edge of a bridge to buckle at 11400 South and approximately 500 West on Sunday. The agency warned it could happen in other areas amid the ongoing heat this week.
"When we're getting temperatures of 100 degrees plus, you're looking at roadway temperatures of 120, 125, 130. So, what's happening is the concrete is expanding," Jake Brown, the agency's Region 2 South Area supervisor, told KSL-TV on Monday.
Meanwhile, monsoonal moisture is expected to continue across parts of the state on Tuesday before strengthening on Wednesday and Thursday, resulting in scattered showers and thunderstorms over the next few days.
The National Weather Service tweeted there are moderate risks for flash floods, especially at slot canyons, dry washes and fire burn scars in southern Utah.
The agency added that flash floods are possible at all of the large parks in southern Utah over the next few days. The risk is listed as "probable" on Wednesday at Capitol Reef National Park and the San Rafael Swell, as well as Grand Staircase-Escalante and Natural Bridges national monuments. Flash floods are also "probable" for most of the region's popular outdoor spaces on Thursday.
"Make sure you check in with (a) local official, visitor center or ranger station before heading out," the agency tweeted.
There is an increased risk of flash flooding for southern Utah National Parks and recreation areas. Make sure to check in with local visitor centers or ranger stations before heading out and have a plan if threatening weather approaches. More at: https://t.co/7kgSJJ8aoF#utwxpic.twitter.com/XoVZtwpHPh— NWS Salt Lake City (@NWSSaltLakeCity) July 12, 2022
This pattern is also expected to continue throughout the remainder of the week, possibly resulting in pop-up storms throughout most of the state as the week continues, Johnson said.
Full seven-day forecasts for areas across Utah can be found online, at the KSL Weather Center.