Wednesday, February 10, 2016

This is bad...

Have you taken a look outside? You can't see much. This morning we were socked in with dense fog, plus the pollution levels are in the unhealthy range. PM 2.5 concentrations in downtown Salt Lake are over 100 micrograms/m3. That's bad.

Utah county has been quite a bit cleaner than Salt lake County, but I looks like the pollution from Salt Lake is being transported south. Winds are light from the north. This may explain the sudden spike in PM 2.5 concentrations at the Lindon air quality site.

This mornings sounding shows how strong this inversion really is. The ground is cold, below freezing, while the air temperatures in the mountains are above 10 C. Since cold air sinks, all that pollution we emit at the surface stays at the surface. 

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Windy Balloon Launch: Reno, NV

High Wind Release Reno
Here is the balloon release by our OPL (Observation Program Leader) from Friday, January 29th during a high wind event in Reno. Wind gusts were around 60 MPH. A couple of things to note. (1) The radiosonde did not hit the ground towards the end of the video. (2) More importantly, this data is directly fed into weather models that help to predict weather downstream, like for the midwest blizzard occurring right now.
Posted by US National Weather Service Reno Nevada on Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Dirty Air: Spanish Fork catching up with Salt Lake

I like to think that air quality is Spanish Fork is cleaner than the urban metropolis of Salt Lake City, but that isn't true all the time. Here is a time series of PM 2.5 pollution in downtown Salt Lake City (purple) and Spanish Fork (red).

On January 27th, Spanish Fork air was about 20 micrograms cleaner than Salt Lake City. But Spanish Fork's pollution concentration has caught up to Salt Lake's today. Good thing we have a storm coming through Utah Friday night which will mix all this gunk out.

This data is from Purple Air. Looks like you can contact them to get a sensor at your house...

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Snow in the east

Aftermath of large snow storm in the eastern US. Let it be remembered that this storm was predicted extremely well. We knew this could be coming about a week in advance. Then had even higher confidence in the storm and its impact several days before the snow came. Really neat!

Credit: NASA WorldView

Thursday, January 21, 2016

This is incredible!

Total new snow between now (Thursday morning) and Saturday Evening. This is a big storm. Source: EDD
Because of meteorology we know what the weather will bring in the next few days. I think this is absolutely fascinating! The forecast for feet of snow in Washington DC area this weekend is quite incredible. Yes. But I'm sitting here amazed that we can warn people of the storm several days in advance! (I love me job)

Read the Washington DC snow forecast:

Wow! Look at this noreaster...
NAM Forecast