NWS issues excessive heat warning for southern Utah

Jul 29, 2020, 6:23 PM | Updated: 6:25 pm

A landscape in southern Utah. Areas from the Wasatch Front to St. George are expected to reach temp...

Excessive heat is expected across the Wasatch Front and St. George this weekend. (Spencer Kelly, file)

(Spencer Kelly, file)

WASHINGTON COUNTY, Utah- An excessive heat warning is being issued for the southern parts of Utah. Meteorologists say temperatures will be very hot all over Utah, but especially in the southern part of the state.  

Some portions of the state have already reached “severe” drought conditions and the National Weather Service is warning everyone to be careful in the heat.

Starting Thursday at noon, an “excessive heat warning” will be in effect from the NWS and it will last until at least Saturday.  Meteorologist Mark Struthwolf says the usual high temperature in St. George is typically near 101 or 102 for this time of year.  However, they predict temperatures will be much hotter than that this weekend.

He says, “The temperatures will be near 110 during the day, which is quite excessive and it puts a burden on the body.”

Struthwolf reports it isn’t just the daytime high people need to worry about, but the overnight low, as well.  He says their models show the low temperatures will be in the mid-70’s, which isn’t necessarily cool enough for the human body to recover from the heat of the day.

“If you’re in an environment where it doesn’t get cool at night, then [the human body is] just constantly trying to cool itself, and that’s where the excessive heat warning comes into effect,” Struthwolf says.

All things considered, the water levels inside Utah’s reservoirs are in relatively good shape.  Hydrologist Jordan Clayton with the Utah Snow Survey says levels are at 83% across the Beehive State, but we shouldn’t expect those levels to increase until next spring.

Clayton says, “This will probably be the most we will see until the snowmelt runoff season.  Most of the replenishment we get at those reservoirs is when the snowpack melts and we get that influx from April to July.”

However, there are some portions of Utah that aren’t faring so well.  Clayton says portions of southeastern Utah have already reached D2, or “severe” drought conditions according to the U.S. Drought Monitor Index.

“In Juab County and some other areas in west-central Utah, there are some areas that are actually D3, which is worse,” Clayton says.

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NWS issues excessive heat warning for southern Utah