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Hot, dry July was the coolest in a decade

"Hot and dry" is the official description for the month of July in Salt Lake City, according to the National Weather Service.

Although the month featured only three 100 degree or greater days, the overall departure from the mean temperature was two degrees above average.

Notwithstanding, it was still Salt Lake City's coolest July in the past 10 years, according to Dan Pope, KSL meteorologist.

"The most significant weather was how dry it was as compared to the exceptionally wet June," he said. He also noted that precipitation was only 39 percent of normal at the Salt Lake Airport, with only 0.28 inches of moisture compared to the July normal of 0.72 inches.

Indeed, the overall Salt Lake temperature in June was 2.6 degrees below average and the moisture was at 343 percent of normal.

The hottest temperature in July was 102 degrees on both July 18 and July 23. The coolest day was July 14 at 82 degrees for a daytime high. The lowest overnight temperature was 56 degrees on July 16. The all-time July records are 107 degrees July 13, 2002 and 40 degrees July 1, 1980.

Overall, July 29 was a lackluster month for records at the airport, with none set.

St. George, on the other hand, experienced its hottest July in four years, Pope said. Also, both Logan and Hanksville recorded no measurable precipitation last month.

So far during August, the hot trend has continued and the airport was 4.5 degrees above average for the first three days of the month.

Temperatures in the mid to upper 90s are expected to continue through Thursday. Wednesday will feature isolated thunderstorms and a high of 98 degrees, while Thursday will be breezy and 95.

Then comes a big predicted change — a cold front will arrive and Friday the high temperature will dip to 82 degrees with scattered thunderstorms possible. The low temperature Saturday morning could be as low as 57 degrees.

"My newest information indicates the air will turn even cooler on Saturday, probably holding the high in the high 70s for the coolest weather since the cool spell in June," Pope said.

Temperatures will rise again by Monday (reaching into the 90s) and stay in the 90s most of next week, he said.

"Traditionally, we have hot weather until about the first or second week of September. Also of note, the hottest time of the year is July 22 through August 2 (average high of 92), so we are now on the down side," Pope said.

e-mail: lynn@desnews.com