SALT LAKE CITY — The calendar may say early April but it certainly feels more like early summer for most of Utah this weekend.
The National Weather Service reported several new high temperature records all over the state Saturday and Sunday, including at the Salt Lake City International Airport.
Temperatures reached 79 degrees at the airport, Saturday and Sunday. The Saturday temperature broke the previous record of 76 degrees set in 1961, while it tied its April 4 record that was first set all the way back in 1889. The city’s record book was established in 1874.
Here were other high temperature records that fell over the weekend:
- Alta: 58 degrees (old record was 52 degrees set in 1992)
- City Creek Water Plant (Salt Lake City): 76 degrees (old record was 66 degrees set in 2006)
- Hanksville: 85 degrees (old record was 83 degrees set in 2002)
- Kanab: 83 degrees (old record was 81 degrees set in 1961)
- Kodachrome Basin State Park: 79 degrees (old record was 78 degrees set in 2002)
- Laketown: 67 degrees (tied record set in 1992)
- BYU Campus (Provo): 81 degrees (old record was 77 degrees set in 1992)
- Scipio: 78 degrees (old record was 75 degrees set in 1943)
- Alta: 58 degrees (old record was 57 degrees set in 1991)
- Cedar City: 78 degrees (old record was 77 degrees set in 1959)
- City Creek Water Plant (Salt Lake City): 75 degrees (old record was 68 degrees set in 2016)
- Deseret: 83 degrees (old record was 81 degrees set in 2000)
- Eskdale: 82 degrees (old record was 80 degrees set in 2000)
- Hanksville: 87 degrees (old record was 86 degrees set in 1959)
- Kanab: 84 degrees (old record was 83 degrees set in 1961)
- Kodachrome Basin State Park: 80 degrees (old record was 77 degrees set in 2002)
- Laketown: 69 degrees (old record was 68 degrees set in 2000)
- Levan: 80 degrees (tied record set in 1943)
- Manti: 77 degrees (tied record set in 1959)
- Mountain Dell Dam (Parley’s Canyon): 75 degrees (tied record set in 1959)
- BYU Campus (Provo): 82 degrees (old record was 89 degrees set in 2000)
- Scipio: 78 degrees (tied record set in 1959)
A few records were also broken in Utah on Friday, including in Alta, Brigham City, Laketown and downtown Salt Lake City.
The record temperatures are the result of a high-pressure ridge that’s set up over the state that allows the temperatures to increase, KSL meteorologist Kevin Eubank explained heading into the weekend. The system kept most of the clouds away, which allowed temperatures to heat up.
“It’s just so unusual for us to talk about this kind of heat this early in the season,” he said on Friday.
Possible fire danger
With the warm, dry weather beyond this weekend, the National Weather Service warned of potential fire for portions across southwest, southeast and eastern Utah for the early start of the workweek.
— NWS Salt Lake City (@NWSSaltLakeCity) April 3, 2021
1PM – Our first Red Flag Warning of 2021 went into effect at noon today for the Uinta Basin. Two sites are already reporting humidity values below 15% and wind gusts 25 mph or greater, which are critical fire weather conditions. Exercise extra caution to prevent fire starts #utwxpic.twitter.com/3n6zPzTXbN
— NWS Salt Lake City (@NWSSaltLakeCity) April 4, 2021
The agency issued a red flag warning for a section of eastern Utah that went effect Sunday afternoon and will remain into effect through Monday in northeastern Utah, and Tuesday in southeaster Utah.
Another red flag warning is still slated to go into effect for most of Beaver and Iron counties, as well as the northwestern tip of Washington County in southwestern Utah Monday afternoon into Monday night, according to the weather service.
A red flag warning is when high temperatures, low relative humidity and wind conditions increase fire risk.
Several fires were reported over the weekend. The largest was one that sparked Sunday afternoon and quickly scorched 4,000 acres of land in Tooele County.
What’s in store heading into the workweek
So how long will these record temperatures last?
The high-pressure ridge that set up over Utah began to move southward throughout the weekend. Behind it is a cold front coming in from the Pacific Northwest. The system is now expected to arrive into northwest Utah late Monday afternoon, according to KSL meteorologist Kristen Van Dyke.
She explained Monday should start off sunny until the cold front brings in clouds.
“There’s a chance for a few showers along that front, so for the Wasatch Front, there is a slight chance we could see some rain showers but most of us will stay dry,” she said. “Tuesday morning we’re waking up to mountain snow … again, focused on the mountain terrain but (there’s) a chance even for the Wasatch Front — we can a rain/snow mix early Tuesday and then clearing out Tuesday afternoon.”
High temperatures are forecast to be in the mid-50s across northern Utah Tuesday. That’s 20 degrees cooler but also back to normal highs for early April, according to National Weather Service climate data.
The cooldown won’t last long, though. Temperatures are forecast to return to the mid-to-upper 60s by midweek next week into the weekend.
As for southern Utah, highs will remain in the mid-to-upper 70s in Cedar City and upper 80s in St. George Monday. Temperatures will fall back slightly to low-60s in Cedar City and mid-70s in St. George Tuesday before it will heat back up in southern Utah.
Full forecasts for areas across Utah can be found at the KSL Weather Center.