Monday, June 18, 2012

Beating the Heat

Source: Ellie Buzbee, Auburn University
Looking to cool off?  Salt Lakers have a couple of options.  One is to head up into the Wasatch or Uinta Mountains to higher elevations and cooler air.  The other is to spend a night in one of northern Utah's low elevation basins or sinkholes where nighttime temperatures drop like a rock to ridiculously low values.

For example, check out the rush Valley south of Tooele and west of Utah Lake.  Overnight, temperatures bottomed out as low as 48ºF at the Faust MesoWest site along the valley floor compared to 60s in the Salt Lake Valley.

Minimum temperature since Midnight, 18 Jun 2012
The Rush Valley is famous amongst meteorologists for it's low minimum temperatures.  Of course, the cold air that forms in the valley is very shallow.  Note how minimum temperatures on the benches around the valley are much warmer.  For example, it only bottomed out at 66ºF on the bench along the southwest flake of the Oquirrh Mountains.

In addition, while it is cold at night, it is very hot during the day along the valley floor.  Faust dropped to 48ºF, but it had a high of 95ºF yesterday.

So, if you want to cool off in the Rush Valley, you need to be a nocturnal animal.

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