SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4) – We are closing in on the weekend, happy Friday eve! Today brings us more patchy smoke with poor air quality and heat that will be near record levels. We will start undergoing some changes in our weather today though that will take us into the weekend.

As for today, temperatures will continue to range 5 to 10° above average in most spots. In Salt Lake City we’ll see a daytime high of 97° which is 2 degrees above the record of 95. In St. George it won’t be quite as hot compared to yesterday. This is thanks in part to a little more cloud coverage as moisture starts to work in.

It will still be hot though with a high of 103° which is 1 degree off the current record of 104 today. For the rest of the state we’ll see plenty of 90s with higher elevations even reaching the mid 80s. The high even in Logan will be 93°!

Air quality will continue to be unhealthy for sensitive groups from Ogden south through Provo and east of the Wasatch. In the northern tip of the state and in the southwest the air quality will be moderate. There is good news with the smoke though. Winds are becoming more southerly which will help thin out some of the smoke in the next couple of days. It will be noticeable in southern Utah today as moisture starts working in. It will remain hazy in the northern half of the state tomorrow, but that haze will be less by the weekend. 

So, now for the changes as we move into the weekend… The high pressure that has kept us hot and smoky is moving down to the southeast. This is resulting in winds becoming more southerly allowing moisture to start working in. In southwestern Utah isolated showers and storms will be possible later this afternoon, mainly in high terrain. Storms may be dry and could produce strong winds of 40-50 mph into the evening.

To our west, there is a system that will be moving towards us tomorrow into Saturday. This will result in scattered showers and storms being possible for a good portion of Utah the next couple of days. The most likely area we will see measurable rain will be the northern and northwestern part of the state tomorrow night through early Saturday morning as the front moves through. During the daytime tomorrow isolated showers and storms will be possible. Outside of any storms skies will be mostly sunny.

Moisture levels will begin to drop by Saturday afternoon, but enough may be left over to produce isolated showers and storms. If you’re going to the BYU and Utah game on Saturday an isolated storm will be possible in the afternoon, but any chance of rain will drop into the evening. Skies will continue to dry out into next week, but another quick moving system could result in quick hitting showers Sunday night into Monday morning.

Temperatures will also be trending down the next few days especially in central and northern Utah. High temperatures will be a degree or two within seasonal averages in Salt Lake City Saturday in the mid 80s. Highs will remain near 100 in St. George. 

DROUGHT MONITOR – We continue to deal with a very serious drought situation in Utah as almost 90% remains in extreme drought. It’s not all bad news though as we continue to make progress on the amount of the state in exceptional drought (most severe). Now 21% of the state is included in this category compared to nearly 25% last week. Majority of the spots included in this category are along the Wasatch Front. Any progress is good progress at this point though!