Thursday, January 29, 2015


With a thin layer of cirrostratus you could see pretty 22 degree halo from the University of Utah campus today. (see video)

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Flying for Science

Besides good video, we do this to get data about the vertical structure of the boundary layer

Monday, January 26, 2015

A big storm brewing

A big storm is brewing, and it going to hit hard in New England this Tuesday. Currently a deep trough is extending into the southern states.
The difference between the blue and red dashed lines is the critical thickness, or an estimated idea of where you might expect snow (blue being cold enough for snow).
From satellite you can make out some of these features in the clouds

By Tuesday the low pressure center reaches Boston
Update: January 27, 8:30 AM
IR satellite image shows the storm.

Lots of fun pictures from the Washington Weather Gang

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Andromeda Galaxy -- Largest Picture

The Andromeda Galaxy is the closest galaxy to our own Milky Way Galaxy. Hubble recently captured a 1.5 billion pixel image of part of the galaxy. The image above shows the entire galaxy with an outline of the below image.

You can explore the full resolution version of this picture here:

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Satellite Images are Cool

There is just something neat about looking at the earth from space. This is the MODIS true color image of Utah taken on January 14, 2015 at 18:19 UTC.

It's hard to see from the true color image what area is cloudy and what area is covered in snow (since clouds and snow are both white.) We can do some cool things with the sensors from satellites. This colorful image helps us distinguishes between the snow and clouds. Blue areas indicate bare ground, red is snow covered ground, and white shows the clouds.

Monday, January 12, 2015

Wash Out

Just what our valley's needed--a good rinse. This valley rain has decrease the PM 2.5 levels back to healthy levels for now.

Views of Winter From Space

The following series of pictures are taken from the Terra Satellite and show the progression of snow cover over the last few weeks. (Click the picture and use your arrow keys to compare images.)

Before Christmas there wasn't any snow in the valley's. The beginning of December was much warmer than average.
December 23, 2014
Managed to finally get a winter storm on Christmas day. A few days later we the clouds moved out and we can see the surface again.
December 27, 2015
 On December 30 northern Utah had a downslope wind event. This caused a lot of blowing snow. Downstream the canyons along the mountain range you can see much thinner snow cover. Also, Utah Lake freezes.
January 1, 2015
 More clear days after the new year. Snow starts to melt away. It's hard to tell from satellite, but these days were quite polluted.
January 7, 2015
 To the north in this picture you can see the fog locked in the Cache Valley.
January 9, 2015
In fact, it was foggy in many of the mountain basins and patchy fog near the Great Salt Lake.
January 9, 2015 Fog

Saturday, January 10, 2015

Fog in Cache Valley

It's been a foggy day in Logan. The visible satellite image shows the cache valley filled with fog with higher clouds flowing over the valley during the day.

Relative humidity in the valley as been around 100% all day.

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

More Power!

NOAA announced on January 5, 2015, that it will increase it's computing power by a factor of ten. What does that mean? More accurate weather forecasts! 
Louis Uccellini, the director of the National Weather Service said, 
"We continue to make significant, critical investments in our supercomputers and observational platforms. By increasing our overall capacity, we'll be able to process quadrillions of calculations per second that all feed into our forecasts and predictions. This boost in processing power is essential as we work to improve our numerical prediction models for more accurate and consistent forecasts required to build a Weather Ready Nation." 

One major change taking place now is an increased resolution in the GFS model. GFS is the Global Forecast System that creates weather forecasts for the entire world. The resolution of this model will increase from 27 km to 13 km, and run for 10 days with the lower resolution model at 33 km to run for days 11 through 16. This will provide and incredible improvement to our weather forecasts. 

Here is a comparison of the old GFS with coarse resolution (0.5 degrees) and the new GFS with higher resolution (0.25 degrees). This means the computer model will now make forecasts for twice as many points as before. Hopefully this leads to more accurate forecasts since more smaller features will be resolved.

The article can be found here:
As well as a link to Cliff Mass's Blog here: 

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Great Weather for a New Year!

Clear blue skies today all across Utah. This image was taken by the Terra Satellite 
source: NASA World View

A view from the Neil Armstrong Academy:
Temperatures are still cold. Here's Utah County:

The first sounding of the year shows lot of cold air locked in valley, AKA Cold Air Pool.

Watch out for poor air quality next week as a ridge builds into Utah this next week.