Heat expected over the weekend won’t help the Utah drought

Jun 4, 2021, 7:51 AM | Updated: 2:49 pm
Utah heat...
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SALT LAKE CITY — It’s going to be a scorcher over the weekend with record heat and lots of sunshine. That’s leading state officials to worry that will only exacerbate the growing drought. 

Friday, forecasters expect Salt Lake City to reach its earliest ever 100-degree day of the year. That would shatter a record set just one year ago. 

The drought in Utah

According to the Department of Natural Resources, 100% of the state is experiencing drought while 90% is in extreme drought. 

On March 17, Gov. Spencer Cox declared a state of emergency, asking Utahns to conserve as much water as possible. Thursday, he urged Utahns of all faiths to join him in praying for rain

National Weather Service Meteorologist Monica Traphagen expects no significant rain in the near future for northern Utah, but plenty of heat.

“We will have a few thunderstorms developing over the higher terrain, but not significant enough to help our drought,” she said. 

Utah heat raises fire risk

Traphagen added that the storms expected at higher elevations could actually be harmful.

“In fact, if the storms coming in have lightning in them, it could start some wildfires,” she added.

Additionally, Traphagen said not only is the weather during the day harmful but our nightly temperatures aren’t helping, either. Over the past decade, Utah’s nightly temperatures have been steadily climbing, according to meteorologists. In other words, Utah stays warm enough overnight that the heat contributes to the next day’s high temperatures, keeping weather warmer than average. 

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Heat expected over the weekend won’t help the Utah drought