Excessive heat warnings issued throughout Utah as ‘heat dome’ arrives

Jul 10, 2024, 6:00 AM

Swimmers cool off in the pool at the Cottonwood Heights Recreation Center in Cottonwood Heights on ...

Swimmers cool off in the pool at the Cottonwood Heights Recreation Center in Cottonwood Heights on Friday, July 5, 2024. The National Weather Service issued several excessive heat warnings for a "heat dome" impacting Utah this week. (Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News)

(Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News)

SALT LAKE CITY — A “heat dome” that has generated record-breaking temperatures throughout the West over the past few days is now making its way to Utah, where it’s expected to boost temperatures close to some of the hottest ever recorded in the state.

The National Weather Service has issued a series of excessive heat warnings and watches throughout most of Utah, where triple-digit temperatures are expected across nearly all valley communities Wednesday through the end of the week.

The alerts advise:

  • High temperatures are expected to reach between 100 and 107 degrees throughout most areas in the state, including the Wasatch Front. Overnight lows may remain in the mid- to upper-70s.
  • For locations in and around St. George, which reached 114 degrees Monday, temperatures are expected to remain between 110 and 115 degrees, while overnight lows are forecast to stay in the upper 70s and low 80s.

There’s also some variability with the temperature, meaning highs could end up slightly higher or lower than what’s forecast if the right conditions set up. That means the system could match or break some of the state’s all-time high-temperature records, says KSL meteorologist Matt Johnson.

“They might make a run for their highest recorded temperature,” he said, pointing to St. George.

St. George’s all-time record high is 117 degrees, which is also the state’s all-time hottest temperature, set in 1985 and matched three years ago. Salt Lake City’s all-time record is 107 degrees, which has been recorded five times since 1874.

The ‘heat dome’ arrives

The incoming heat wave comes after a particularly hot start to summer. Last month was Utah’s third-hottest June since 1895, according to National Centers for Environmental Information data released Tuesday. It was the second-hottest June on record in Salt Lake City.

July has been off to a cooler start, at least along the Wasatch Front where cooler air has kept Salt Lake City’s temperatures nearly three degrees below normal during the first week of the month. But that is set to change with the strong high-pressure system, also known as a “heat dome.”

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Excessive heat warnings issued throughout Utah as ‘heat dome’ arrives