Good and bad news in the WSU-Utah weather forecast


Love at first sight in Salt Lake City (Photo:

WHAT HAPPENS IF lightning strikes the Salt Lake City area on Saturday night, with Washington State in town to take on Utah in a massive Pac-12 showdown? CF.C spoke this morning with Dan Sorensen, editor of, about the weather. This is the bad news. The good news: Looking at the schedules for both teams, WSU and Utah have the same open date that would fit, and it’s coming pretty soon.

WSU and Utah both have a bye planned for next week. If weather conditions force the cancellation of Saturday’s game – the one that won’t start until 7:00 p.m. PT (8:00 p.m. MT) – the game could potentially be played a week later.

Assuming they play, what are the chances that lightning will affect the game on Saturday? Unfortunately, everything indicates that this is a real possibility.

CF.C photographer Whittney Thornton, who is in Salt Lake City, reports that thunder was rumbling every few minutes this morning.

And Sorensen, a longtime observer of all things Utah football, gave CF.C the pitch on Friday morning for the Lightning and Utes football games at Rice Stadium- Eccles.

“The latest forecast is that thunderstorms are likely – an 80% chance – there is a risk of a weather delay,” Sorensen said. “Salt Lake City can experience real, more severe thunderstorms when conditions are right. It will depend on whether the really bad weather stays near the Great Salt Lake, which is to the west, or if the bad weather is in the mountains to the east, where the campus is located. I wouldn’t rule it out.

NCAA rules require that play be suspended if lightning is within eight miles of the stadium. There is a 30 minute delay – from the last lightning strike within eight miles – before the game can restart.

Even if lightning does not develop, conditions on Saturday night could be difficult.

“It will be wet and cold, [55-60 degrees] but too hot for snow in the valley. Winds are forecast at 10 to 20 mph, ”he said.

IMPORTANT NOTE: Assuming the game is played, some WSU fans might miss it. The dispute between Dish / Sling and Fox continued on Friday, and unless something changes in the next 24 hours, the game will be on hiatus for WSU fans who have Dish or Sling TV.

RELATED STORY: Dish / Sling Drops FS-1, Leaves WSU Fans Hanging


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