• As discussed in the previous post from last night, the inversion is now at its maximum strength. In this morning's upper-air sounding from the Salt Lake City airport, the temperature increased from -15.5ºC (4.1ºF) at the surface to 7.6ºC (45.7ºF) at 2130 m (6988 ft). Within the large-scale inversion, which is elevated just a bit above the valley floor, the temperature increases from -12.7ºC (9.1ºF) at 1623 m (5325 ft) to 7.6ºC (45.7ºF) at 2130 m (6988 ft). The loop below shows the lowering and strengthening inversion over the past 8 mornings, concluding with today.
• With the inversion lowering, higher elevations on the east bench are getting tantalizingly close to clean air.
• Overnight low at the Salt Lake City airport 4ºF. Overnight low on Mt. Baldy (11,000 ft) 34ºF.
• The 24-hour average PM2.5 peaked overnight at 127.8 ug/m3 in North Provo. That is almost 4 times the National Ambient Air Quality Standard.
|Source: Utah Division of Air Quality|
• Hourly PM2.5 at the Salt Lake site continues to show massive variations with a peak in the afternoon. The 24-hour average PM2.5 has declined from a peak a few days ago. I'm not really sure if I buy this as representative of the long-term air quality trend along the valley floor.
• Not much change in the forecast through Friday. A weak trough moves through tomorrow and should give us a stirring and weaken the inversion by warming the low levels and cooling the air aloft. I still think it won't fully mix out the gunk. Looks like some wet snow for both the mountains and the valleys.
• A series of brush by systems followed by a stronger trough will probably bring an eventual end to the pollution by early next week. It will be interesting to see what happens to PM2.5 levels over the next few days.