Sunday, November 8, 2015

The Times They Are a Changing

November is here and it can be quite remarkable how different the climates and microclimates are in northern Utah compared to October as the sun appears lower and lower in the sky each afternoon.

Yesterday I rode up City Creek Canyon.  Temperatures in the Avenues were in the upper 40s when I left, which isn't too bad, but I fortuitously wore pair of insulated full-finger gloves and stuffed a soft-shell in my camelbak.  Most of lower City Creek was fine, but the upper mile and a half is now almost fully shaded and quite cold on a day without wind.  In addition, the road has some patches of snow on it now, with a complete coating at the top.  Passable on a mountain bike and a road bike up to the very top, but very cold!  What a microclimate.

Meanwhile, even though it was sunny and comfortable in the Salt Lake Valley, we're not "mixing out" the valley like we do in summer and early fall when a ridge builds in.  Yesterday afternoon's sounding shows a pronounced capping stable layer based about 1000 m over the valley floor, which explains some of the hazy gunk that was lingering around the valley.  

Source: NOAA/SPC
Today, however, should be warmer and quite splendid for November.  The south winds are picking up and highs will likely reach the mid and upper 50s.  Temperatures in the morning sounding were quite warm and near freezing all the way to 3000 meters.  At the top of Mount Baldy (11,000 ft), it's currently 27ºF, so it will be a nice day to soak up some rays on sunny aspects at all elevations.


  1. Hey, so speaking of gunk and inversion season, what do you think of northern Utah counties not testing diesels for emissions? After recently moving back to Weber county I was really surprised my Toyota Yaris has to be tested for emissions, but all these diesels blowing out smoke don't have to.


      I see nothing in these requirements exempting diesels from testing.

    2. I think they have it on the books, but most individual counties don't have the facilities to test for it. Davis is the only one, and Weber county just tabled their plan to introduce the testing. Since only Davis tests, drivers find ways to register in other counties. So reporting the smoking diesels doesn't really work as there is no way to enforce it. Info from the the link below.

      I'm not trying to belabor the point, but diesel vehicles add a ton of junk to the air, and Utah has no way to combat it at the moment despite our major air problem. It's a bummer that this major contributor can't be stopped at the present time.