Saturday, January 15, 2011

Feeling Warm?

Today's maximum temperature of 45F at the University of Utah looks to be the the highest temperature observed on campus since December 18.

As is often the case during winter when snow is present, we have either been in cold post-frontal air or mired in a valley cold pool for quite a while.  It's great to break 40 and see my driveway free of snow!

In contrast, temperatures on Mt. Baldy have peaked above today's maximum of 23F on six calendar days since December 18.  Note that at this high altitude location, the maximum temperature is not always in the afternoon.

This crudely illustrates how decoupled conditions in the valley can be from the free atmosphere.  Further evidence why it would be good to understand the contribution of cold pools to long-term climate trends over Utah.

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