Thursday, September 1, 2011

A Cool Change, Classes Cancelled!

The leading edge of the cooler air arrived last night, with temperatures at the Salt Lake Airport dipping this morning into the very pleasant 50s, a welcome departure from what we've experienced the last couple of weeks.

Coming in with the cool air is quite a bit of smoke, presumably from fires to the northwest.

Evidence of Smoke Looking at the Wasatch from the Avenues.
The media freaked out the last time this happened, with one anchor calling it an "inversion."  Hopefully they will get it right this time.

Yesterday's post mentioned that the cold-air intrusion was forecast to be much stronger by the NAM than the GFS, with a 700-mb temperature forecast for Friday morning of 3C compared to 11 C.  It looks like the winner will be the GFS as the NAM has moved to a more GFS-like solution and now predicts a  700-mb temperature of 10C by Friday morning.

0600 UTC 1 Sep NAM 700-mb wind, temperature, and relative humidity
forecast valid 1200 UTC 2 Sep 2011.
Congrats to the GFS for earning a victory for global models everywhere!  Nevertheless, even the smaller cooling is going to be a feel good.

As all the U of U students know, classes are cancelled today beginning at 3 PM.  No, it is not because of the cool change, but instead because of a football game.  Who are we playing?  USC?  Notre Dame?  Alabama?  Nada.  We are playing Montana State.

Now I'm not going to belittle Montana State.  It's a great school, especially for snow and avalanche research, and the best man in my wedding is a track-and-field legend there.  Several years ago, before they were the BCS-busting juggernaut they are today, I saw an unheralded Boise State come in an whip the Utes good, so no opponent should be taken for granted.

Instead, I am upset about this because if classes are to be cancelled at the University of Utah, it should be for a Deep Powder Day.  We're not talking about a snow day here.  I've yet to be able to make it to work because of snow.  I'm talking about ensuring that the students at this University get a full and complete education that includes the joys of skiing (or snowboarding) the steep and deep and a basic first-hand understanding of Wasatch Mountain Weather.  

Let's hope that the administration comes to their senses and realizes how imperative it is to address this issue.

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