Monday, December 23, 2019

Relief for Some but Not Others

Strong southerly winds have scoured out the valley cold pools and pollution across much of northern Utah, but not all of it.

The southerlies picked up in earnest on Friday night and Saturday.  At noon on Saturday, peering into the Salt Lake Valley from above White Pine Canyon, one could see significant clearing in portions of the Salt Lake Valley, but thick smog remained over the lowlands further north. 

That portion of the cold pool over the Great Salt Lake and West Desert has been incredibly stingy,  like a bad cold unwilling to go away.  Even by Sunday afternoon, despite a tempest blowing at upper elevations, the cold pool remained.  Check out the observations below from 3 PM MST (2200 UTC) Sunday.  50s across the Salt Lake Valley, but 33˚F on Hat Island, 33˚F along I-80 in the West Desert, and 34˚F in Wendover!

Source: MesoWest
And I would be remiss if I didn't mention Logan where yesterday's high was 25˚F!  Sadly, the pollution there continues to be awful and is flirting with unhealthy levels. 

Source: DAQ
I thought that might be the worst air quality in the country, but they are currently just behind Seeley Lake, MT, which has PM2.5 concentrations this morning of 63.3 ug/m3 and was as high as 70.8 ug/m3 yesterday.  All of this is a reminder that air pollution is not just an urban problem. 

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