Sunday, February 3, 2013

Postcards from Heaven and Hell

Looking west from Alta's High Traverse
Looking west from midway down Little Cottonwood Canyon
Downtown Salt Lake City
Gorgeous weather today in the mountains with sunshine and clear air to fill the nostrils and lungs.  It is too bad the same can't be said for the Wasatch Front which is once again mired in air pollution.  It looks like both Salt Lake and Utah counties are once again eclipsing the National Ambient Air Quality Standard (NAAQS) for PM2.5.

Source: Utah Division of Air Quality
An interesting aspect of this event is the decline in temperatures over the past three days.  At the Salt Lake Airport, we hit 46ºF on Friday, but only 35ºF yesterday and we haven't been able to get above 28ºF so far today.

Source: MesoWest
The airport have also seen thick fog throughout the day with some occasional light snow.  It must seem like a different world down there compared to the east bench where it is several degrees warmer and one can at least see the sun through the smog.


  1. It is interesting how quickly the valley warmed this past week, then dramatically cooled again. Besides the extensive snow cover, it seems like two important factors connected to the cooling valley temp over last couple of days are the drier overlying air mass, and much weaker wind fields above the inversion. Obviously the weak wind field reduces mixing, and the dry overlying air increases radiative cooling as well as preventing any latent heat transfer into the cold pool from mixing. Also, it seems like fog is more prevalent with this somewhat warmer inversion, with less spread between ice/water saturation in this temp range.

  2. I'm over's been fun living here, but I need to get out. It's only going to get worse.

  3. It was interesting driving from Lehi to North Salt Lake for a Superbowl party yesterday. We left Lehi around 4 and it was 40 degrees outside, by the time we got to North Salt Lake at 4:30 it was foggy and 27. When we went home after the game around 9 it was amazing how fast the fog moved in.