Utah forecast: Cooler but still dry, windy statewide

Fire danger • High temperatures prompt warnings as weekend approaches.
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2013, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Pablo Picasso knew something about the kinds of shifting winds that dominate Utah's weather as the week ends: "The older you get the stronger the wind gets — and it's always in your face," he once said.

Northern Utah's forecast for Friday calls for northerly winds of 20 mph with gusts to 35 mph and high temperatures in the mid-70s, one day after the Wasatch Front was buffeted by first southerly winds and then northwesterly breezes of 20 mph — and again gusts to 35 mph —as the mercury climbed to near 90 degrees.

Southern Utah looked for 15-25 mph winds on Friday with highs approaching triple digits, a mirror forecast of that made for Thursday in Utah's Dixie.

Isolated thunderstorms eased heading into the latter part of the week, bringing lightning and little rain. Those conditions statewide prompted the National Weather Service to issue a slew of warnings and advisories.

A "red flag" wildfire warning was issued Thursday for the southwest quarter of Utah and a patch of high desert southwest of Duchesne in eastern Utah.

Forecasters noted continued high temperatures, wind and bone-dry vegetation as factors.

A Hazardous Weather Outlook was in place for the western two-thirds of the state in general, and a wind advisory was issued for a stretch of southeastern Utah stretching from Green River south through Moab to the Utah-Arizona border.

One benefit of all that upper-atmospheric stirring was air quality, rated at "green," or healthy statewide into the weekend by the Utah Division of Air Quality.

Meanwhile, the Intermountain Allergy & Asthma website put mold pollen levels at "high," while grass and plantain came in at "moderate." Other allergens were "low."

Salt Lake City's high temperature Friday was put at 76, down from Thursday's 90 degree high; Ogden expected 74, down from 87 degrees; Provo 79, down from 93; Logan 72, down from 88; Wendover 74, down from 84; Cedar City 85, down from 88; and St. George 98, down from 100.


Twitter: @remims