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`COOLER' WEATHER IS ON THE WAY

The temperature hit 102 degrees Tuesday in Salt Lake City, Blanding and Dugway, but it was even hotter elsewhere in Utah, including 108 in St. George and 107 in Green River, Hanksville and Moab.

But it should be a little cooler - in the mid- to upper 90s - Wednesday in northwestern Utah. The St. George area probably will continue to roast.The 102-degree reading is not a record-high temperature for Salt Lake City, according to William J. Alder, meteorologist in charge of the Salt Lake office of the National Weather Service.

The highest temperature ever recorded was 107 degrees, set July 26, 1960, at the Salt Lake International Airport. Meteorologists started keeping records in 1928 at the airport.

Alder said the greatest number of consecutive days of 100-degree or higher temperatures is nine days - July 14-22, 1960. The record for 100- degrees or higher temperatures in June was set June 20-23, 1961, and that record was tied Tuesday with the fourth consecutive day of 100-degree or higher readings in Salt Lake City.

Cooler air moved into northern Utah late Tuesday night and early Wednesday. It was near 67 degrees about 6 a.m. at the Salt Lake Airport. That was the coolest morning in several days.

Although it will be a little cooler in the north, summery temperatures will still prevail.

"The cooler air will take a little of the sizzle out of the thermometer in the northwest, but it will stay hot in the south and east through Thursday. The temperature will inch back up again in the north toward the weekend. No storms are in sight. People need to remember that this is the dry time of the year," Alder said.

While much of Utah sizzled Tuesday, some residents in the Lapoint, Uintah County, area had an additional weather-related problem.

About 7:30 p.m., a strong "dust devil," a surface-based phenomena, split three trees in half, uprooted another tree and blew a window out of a home and damaged the roof of a camper on a pickup in about a five-mile radius and within about three minutes, said Coene Bagley, a weather spotter for the National Weather Service.

A dust devil is caused, Alder explained, when there is a concentration of warm or hot air near the surface of the ground. As the air rises it makes a circular motion and picks up dust and other debris. Normally, a dust devil doesn't cause that type of damage, Alder said.