Friday, February 8, 2013

Put a Stake in It!

Sorry for interrupting your powder dreams with this post, but the inversion simply will not die today.  A boundary between relatively warm, clean air and a polluted, shallow cold pool has been rocking back and forth across the northern Salt Lake Valley today.  You can see the leading edge of the gunk layer from the University of Utah as I type this at about 3:20 PM.  Click to enlarge.  Pity I don't have a real camera with me today.

This has resulted in massive swings in PM2.5 at the observing site near Hawthorne Elementary.  Look at how the PM2.5 dropped over night (see right hand side of trace), then went back up, then dropped again.  This evolution is in opposition with the temperature, which rises when the PM2.5 drops and decreases when the PM2.5 rises.  Basically you are seeing a cold pool sloshing back and forth over the northern Salt Lake Valley and the cold pool is full of pollution as it is the last remnant of our inversion event.

Mother Nature will eventually put a stake in it, but the inversion is hanging on like a vampire.  

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