|Source: Utah Division of Air Quality|
The relatively elevated nature of the inversion and the deep layer of haze and pollution over the Salt Lake Valley is very evident in the Snowbird camera image from this morning. While it is not uncommon for haze and pollution to be found in the Salt Lake Valley, the depth extends relatively far up the Oquirrh Mountains.
In some respects, that is good news as it means the pollution is diluted a bit by the deeper layer of mixing. On the other hand, it's still very depressing and the air quality is a best moderate and at worst into the unhealthy for sensitive groups category.
Looking through the weekend, it appears our goose is cooked, at least in the valley. The models show an upper-level ridge building in with temperatures warming aloft and in the mountains. The 3-km NAM sounding for Sunday Morning shows a still-elevated inversion with a shallow, moist mixed-layer near the valley floor.
|Source: Tropical Tidbits|
Finally, it is worth pointing out that blaming the pollution on the inversion, as I hear so often, is simply incorrect. The inversion is simply a meteorological phenomenon that caps a pool of cold air in the valleys and basins of the intermountain west. The pollution is caused by emissions due to the burning of fossil fuels and wood, as well as from agricultural and other sources. As I like to say, we have met the enemy, and it is us.