Relentlessly hot weather and the ongoing drought are adding realistic touches to Utah's celebration of Pioneer Day. (See B2 for celebration schedule.)
Utah isn't quite the desert the pioneers stumbled upon 141 years ago, but it is hot and dry enough to spark sympathy for their plight.Weather will continue to be hot and dry through the weekend. The high pressure over the West will shift slightly south, allowing some tropical moisture to filter into the state.
The tropical touch will bring some isolated afternoon and evening thunderstorms but they will be more show than substance.
"There probably won't be much water out of them," said William J. Alder, meteorologist in charge of the National Weather Service's Salt Lake office. "Mainly just gusty winds through most of the weekend."
The holiday weekend will be slightly cooler than the week has been, with highs in the mid to upper 90s.
Several parts of the state sizzled Thursday. St. George fried a little more intensely than the rest of the state with a high of 107. Temperatures reached 100 degrees or more at the University of Utah, Bullfrog, Dugway, Green River, Hanksville and Moab. Salt Lake City was 99 degrees. Alta was a chilly 77.
Temperatures will be around 100 degrees along most of the Wasatch Front Friday, Alder said. While it will cool a few degrees for the weekend, highs are still expected to reach 108 in some parts of the state.