SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4) – Happy Thursday, Utah! The heat is on! We saw above-average temperatures due with high pressure in control for our Wednesday, and today we could see the hottest temperatures of the year.

Above-average heat should peak today and has the potential to tie or break a record in Salt Lake today. The record for high temperature in Salt Lake City is 92, and we could very well tie or break that, while the rest of the Wasatch Front highs will flirt with low 90s and St. George could approach 100! This would be the first triple-digit day of the season in St. George. We will see a range of 80s and 90s throughout the rest of the state, including low to mid-80s in our mountain valleys and 90s along the I-15 corridor. Even Park City will climb into the 80s this afternoon!

The ridge will slightly shift east into the late afternoon and evening and that will allow winds will increase out of the south which will lead the charge for the warmup, but in southern Utah where humidity will be low combined with warmth that will mean an increase in the fire risk. The fire risk will increase even more going into Friday and the beginning of the Memorial Day weekend.

A Fire Weather Watch will go into effect tomorrow morning through tomorrow evening for the Grand Staircase area of southern Utah. Meanwhile, tomorrow will see a Red Flag Warning go into effect for Eastern Utah along the Colorado River Basin. The watches will likely evolve into Red Flag Warnings, and we will likely see them expanded and we’ll keep you posted if they do.

The high pressure leading to the warmup will start to ease its grip heading into the Memorial Day weekend. We get westerly winds and slight cooling as we close out the work week into the Memorial Day weekend. By Friday with the high-pressure easing, we’ll add in a slight chance for showers and a few thunderstorms for the northernmost half of the state late Friday afternoon into the nighttime.

Temperatures will also come down slightly tomorrow compared to today. In northern Utah, it will be about 5-10 degrees cooler than today, and about 3-5 degrees cooler in southern Utah. 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. 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.

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.

Overall, the heat breaks down for the holiday weekend and daytime highs slip below average yet again heading into Memorial Day and early next week. If you have any outdoor plans for the Memorial Day weekend continue to stay up to date on the forecast!

Bottom line? A preview of the summer heat is upon us, with an elevated fire risk for portions of the state.

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