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LIGHTNING, HEAT, WIND PLAGUE UTAH

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Weather watchers reported scorching heat, bursts of wind and lightning strikes - one of which killed a Provo man - as Utah moved into the dog days of summer.

David Clyde Ritchie, about 23, was killed by lightning as he sat at a picnic table Sunday afternoon near the Strawberry Reservoir marina.The man, whose parents, Don and Liz Ritchie, live in Heber City, was identified by Wasatch County Sheriff Ed Thacker. Ritchie was attending college in Provo.

A deputy sheriff quoted witnesses as saying the man was sitting with five people at the table when lightning struck him in the chest and apparently exited his left foot.

Emergency resuscitation was performed at the scene by members of the victim's party. Ritchie was then flown by helicopter to LDS Hospital in Salt Lake City, where he was pronounced dead.

The lightning death was the first reported this year in Utah, although a 62-year-old woman was injured when she was struck by lightning June 9 in Provo, according to the Salt Lake office of the National Weather Service.

Two people died and one was injured last year in lightning strikes in Utah, said William J. Alder, meteorologist in charge of the office.

The lightning fatality near Strawberry was part of a freakish weather pattern that included microburst winds late Sunday afternoon and evening in the Provo area and in Tooele and Salt Lake counties.

Lightning caused fires north of Dugway. A lightning strike hit a tree in Spanish Fork Canyon and a transformer in north Orem.

Tents and booths set up for Provo's Freedom Festival were blown over on University Avenue. Lines were downed in the east part of the city, and some areas of northeast Provo were without power for four hours.

Alder said the thermometer hit 101 degrees Sunday at the Salt Lake International Airport, tying with July 1, 1950, for the hottest July 1 on record.

Summer has been a scorcher so far. There have been seven days that the temperature has reached 100 degrees or higher at the airport. Normally, there are only five days - one in June, three in July and one in August. This year there were six days in June and one in July.

It was a scorching 110 in St. George, Hanksville and Bullfrog, 109 at Zion National Park, 105 in Green River and Moab, 104 in Delta and 103 in Provo and at Brigham Young University.

The temperature was an uncomfortable 81 degrees early Monday, the warmest overnight low temperature ever recorded at the Salt Lake International Airport. Previously, the record was 79 degrees on July 10, 1956.

Alder forecast a little cooler temperatures for northern Utah Tuesday. Temperatures may dip to the mid-90s, and the mercury may drop 2 to 4 degrees in Utah's Dixie.

Tropical moisture continued moving into the northern part of the state, although not much rain is expected from afternoon thundershowers.

A meager 0.10 of an inch of moisture fell Sunday over Utah's Hogle Zoo in Salt Lake City.