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Salt Lake City on pace to break summer heat record

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Posted at 5:26 PM, Jul 26, 2013
and last updated 2013-07-26 20:49:47-04

SALT LAKE CITY - The Salt Lake Valley is on pace to set a record for summer heat.

So far, Salt Lake City International Airport has already recorded temperatures over 100 degrees Fahrenheit 17 times this year, only four days below the record of 21 days to reach 100 degrees in one year.

"It's definitely been an incredibly hot July and if you include June, it's probably been the hottest June-July period that we've had at the Salt Lake City International Airport," said Jim Steenburgh, professor of atmospheric sciences.

Scientists say there has been persistent high pressure over the Salt Lake Valley, causing the hotter-than-normal weather.

"This has been a very hot year in part because we've had this very persistent upper level ridge sitting over Utah and the western United States," Steenburgh said. "So I'm not going to say it's due to global warming but what we do know that the frequency of the heat waves we've had around here has gone up quite a bit over the last several decades and that's probably related to climate change."

One average, Salt Lake City only hits the century mark five days every year.