Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Storm Coming Together Nicely

I love days like this.  A quick update.

As anticipated, the new front has formed over eastern Nevada and Northwest Utah and is now draped across the Salt Flats and northern Great Salt Lake.

This is clearly a case of discrete propagation.  Despite the NW wind, it is currently 63ºF at Wendover.  That's much warmer than what was immediately behind the front 24 hours ago.

Remarkable dust plumes are being driven by the strong southerlies ahead of the front.  These plumes can be clearly seen in visible satellite imagery (not to mention by looking out the window). Major dust sources below are outlined in red boxes and include the West Desert in and around Dugway Proving Ground, the Tule Valley (I think there's a small dry lake bed there), and the Sevier Lake Bed.   There are probably others.

Visibility in the Salt Lake Valley is dropping like a rock.  We are seeing PM2.5 concentrations on our Trax mounted sensor in excess of 20 ug/m3.  Air quality is clearly deteriorating.  I wonder if they will need to close US-6 north of the Sevier Lake Bed where the plume is highly concentrated.

Corrections/Addendums @ 12:55 PM

Peak PM2.5 measured by the Trax-mounted sensor was actually 41 ug/m3.  Ick!  Careful look at Satellite imagery shows dust also being emitted from Sevier Desert east of the lake bed.

Typically the dust becomes highly concentrated at the cold front.  It will be haboob-like when it comes through.  You won't want to be outside during the frontal passage.


  1. WBB shaking on the 8th floor. Top gust of 59 mph so far. Hopefully the construction crane next to the building doesn't fall down when the front comes through!

  2. PM 2.5 topped out over 300 ug/m3 in the middle of the storm yesterday!!

    http://air.utah.gov/trendcharts-pollutant.php?pollutant=MC (notice the changing Y axis on the graphs)

    1. The highest I could see was 297.8 at the Weber site. Did I miss something?

      In either event...wow!