SALT LAKE CITY (ABC 4) – Happy Friday, Utah! We remain above average today after seeing the hottest day of the year yesterday, but major change grips the Great Basin by Saturday with some more subtle changes today.
The ridge of high pressure is currently shifting to the east and allowing winds to increase. The uptick in winds will impact Southern Utah where humidity will be low combined with warmth, and so fire danger rises.
The fire risk holds on Friday and the beginning of the Memorial Day weekend. Red Flag Warnings are posted for Friday through Sunday evening in Southern and Eastern Utah, and gusty winds could easily spread any flames that ignite.
Fire danger will remain elevated as many campers and hikers hit the road and backcountry for the weekend, so we will have to be extra careful with these ripe conditions.
While today will be above average with the mid-80s expected along the Wasatch Front, we get westerly winds and slight cooling as we close out the workweek into the Memorial Day weekend. We’ll add in a slight chance for showers and a few thunderstorms for the northernmost half of the state late this afternoon into the nighttime.
Temperatures will also come down slightly and in northern Utah, it will be about 5-10 degrees cooler than Thursday and about 3-5 degrees cooler in southern Utah. Again, this is just the beginning of a weather pattern shift.
We have a series of disturbances trekking into Utah starting Friday, with a larger system set to impact the latter half of the Memorial Day weekend. This will result in the cooling trend continuing while also likely adding a chance for wet weather and at times, windier conditions.
Right now, the best chance for wet weather appears to favor the northern two-thirds of the state, but by late Sunday into Monday, there is a slight chance that some moisture could make it into southernmost Utah. Each day Saturday through Tuesday will bring moisture potential with the best chance being Sunday into Memorial Day.
On top of that, there will be potential for thunderstorms. Right now, the northern half of the state and central Utah, expect thunderstorms Saturday and Sunday. In southern Utah, winds are likely to increase which could result in more high fire danger continuing through the weekend even with cooler conditions, so if you plan on going to the park, be mindful of that.
On top of the fire risk, with the winds patchy blowing dust will be possible across southern Utah. Moisture potential at this point is looking healthy as most valleys in northern Utah could see over a half-inch of precipitation while higher elevations in northern and central could see over an inch!
In our mountains, we will likely see some accumulating snow, especially Sunday and Monday with the snow line being about 7000ft. From late Sunday into Monday, the snow line could dip to 7000ft in northern Utah. At last check, Sunday and Memorial Day Monday look like a bit of a washout with showers expected and significantly cooler temperatures. Monday is not the day for your outdoor plans as we’ll struggle to reach 60 in Salt Lake City.
If you have any outdoor plans for the Memorial Day weekend continue to stay up to date on the forecast!
The takeaway? Slightly less hot to close out the workweek with very big changes coming our way through the Memorial Day weekend.
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