Saturday, November 30, 2013

Coming Break in Poor Air Quality

University of Utah, William Browning Building webcam
Have you noticed the smog in Salt Lake county this Thanksgiving weekend? If you're familiar with winter time weather in Utah, you know the inversion is the culprit. It's pretty dirty, and the chart below proves it. In the last two days, one hour PM 2.5 concentrations have reached the "red" air quality category. (In case you didn't know, PM 2.5 is not good to breath. PM 2.5 is made of tiny particles, smaller than 2.5 micrometers, and get in your lungs causing respiratory problems.)

Salt Lake City
November 25-30, 2013

What we need is a big storm. Storms help improve air quality because they bring a new air mass with clean air (although, the air is usually cold becomes it comes from our north). Also, storms are generally windy and can mix out the inversion. Pollution can then be mixed out and diluted vertically.

Fortunately, we have a storm on it's way. Yea!! The November 30, 00z GFS model run shows a strong cold front will enter Utah Tuesday morning. Of course, a good snow storm will accompany this cold front. More good news for skiers!

GFS Forecast for Tuesday December 3, 6:00 pm

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