Wednesday, February 16, 2011

No Dust Yet

The sun is now high enough that we are getting some good visible satellite images for examining dust emissions and transport.  Fortuitously today, there are few cirrus clouds over the Intermountain West, so we have a birds eye view.

At 1630 UTC, there appears to be little if any dust emissions from the Sevier Lake bed, Sevier Desert, and Milford Flat fire scar.

Visible satellite image at 1630 UTC 16 Feb
That being said, the surface winds in this region are just beginning to exceed the minimum speed needed for dust emission.  At Delta, UT (KU24) at 1647 UTC, for example, the temperature is still only 48F, with sustained winds of 21 knots (10.5 m/s).  

As the convective boundary layer continues to grow, surface winds should increase dramatically in the next couple of hours, so the meteorology should be in place soon.  Stay tuned and we'll see if the land surface cooperates.


  1. Noonish: Dust in Wendover.

    Check out the animation.

  2. This might represent an educational case study. There is clearly dust in the air as of noon. Visibility appears to be degrading quickly, but as of 12:25 is not yet below 10km. Significant dust in Wendover and over the playa east of Wendover as viewed from UDOT cams.

    Visible satellite imagery does not show any obvious plumes coming off central Utah playas. These playas may not yet be "in condition" to produce dust.

    What we have going now may be a general desert dust event vs point source dust event from playas.