Triple digit figures are forecast by the National Weather Service in Salt Lake City for the next several days, with highs predicted to reach an energy-sucking 105 degrees on Monday — at the height of Utah’s famed Pioneer Day celebration.

It will be worse in Utah’s southwest desert, where temperatures were forecast to hit 111 degrees Friday and 113 degrees on Saturday.

The National Weather Service in Salt Lake City, in fact, has excessive heat warnings or heat advisories in place through much of the state into Monday.

The heat wave from California to Florida has stretched on for more than 40 days in some parts of the county and shattered 2,300 records, according to CNN, and is being blamed for multiple deaths in Arizona and elsewhere such as California, where Death Valley temperatures reached 119 degrees.

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Forecasters say the extreme heat in the United States shows no indication of abating, with the outlook calling for above-normal temperatures well into August.

The United States is not alone in its struggles with record-breaking heat, as parts of Europe are enduring triple-digit temperatures that have caused some outdoor workers to walk off the job or transit workers to demand air-conditioned vehicles. The heat led to the afternoon closure of popular archaeological sites in Greece.

Earlier this week, Rocky Mountain Power released a statement saying it is taking all necessary steps to ensure the grid’s reliability during the heat wave.

“More electricity is used by our customers during the summer season than at any other time of the year,” said Curt Mansfield, Rocky Mountain Power senior vice president of power delivery. “Although we see the demand for electricity reach its highest point during the summer, we are confident about our network’s readiness for this summer.”

The demand for electricity typically reaches its highest point on a hot summer weekday afternoon, generally from about 3 p.m. to 8 p.m. That’s the same time power is needed to operate the summertime irrigation systems and the ever-increasing number of air conditioners.

They do want customers to do their part, however, including:

  • Set the thermostat as high as comfortable; for example, 78 degrees or higher when at home.
  • Tune up air conditioners each year and clean or replace filters monthly.
  • Operate the clothes dryer and dishwasher at night.
  • Prepare meals that do not require the oven.

Jason Whipple, director of Washington County Emergency Services, said should there be a power failure, the county has a reverse 911 emergency notification system via texts, phone calls and emails to alert residents of “cooling” centers.

“We do have a lot of buildings that have the ability to have their own generated power.”

Salt Lake County’s Aging and Adult Services has a Cool Zone program, too, which runs through Oct. 15 and not only includes senior centers, but libraries and recreation centers. The county site includes an interactive map, as well as a listing of Cool Zone locations for residents seeking relief.

A person experiencing homelessness who asked not to be named lies under a tree to try and escape the sun on State Street in Salt Lake City on Friday, July 21, 2023. The National Weather Service in Salt Lake City has excessive heat warnings or heat advisories in place through much of the state into Monday. High temperatures can be especially dangerous for those experiencing homelessness. | Megan Nielsen, Deseret News