Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Cold Front: February 22, 2017

A cold front swept through Utah yesterday evening. You can see it move north to south at the locations plotted below.
  • Blue = Salt Lake Airport
  • Green = Point of the Mountain
  • Red = Orem
  • Orange = Spanish Fork


Nearly a 30 degree drop in temperature is quite impressive for a cold front. It rain most the evening and turned to snow overnight mostly impacting Utah County


A look at the wind speed and direction:

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Cool Clouds

Some neat clouds billowing over the Wasatch


Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Calibrated my Pressure Sensor

The pressure sensor at UKBKB Spanish Fork (aka EW2355 Spanish Fork), has read wrong since I installed the weather station several years ago. I finally borrowed a Kestrel 4500 from work to apply a correction to my pressure sensor. As a result, I reduced the pressure reading on my Davis Vantage Pro 2 by 4 hPa.

You can see the change in the MesoWest time series plot when pressure decreased 400 Pascals:

http://home.chpc.utah.edu/~u0553130/Brian_Blaylock/cgi-bin/plot_ts_multistations.cgi?stn1=ukbkb&stn2=ukbkb&stn3=&stn4=&start=2017-02-13 08:35&end=2017-02-14 15:35&units=C&variable=pressure

Thursday, February 9, 2017

Cloud Seeding: Weather Modificaiton

Saving this graphic for later:

This graphic shows efforts in the Western United States to increase precipitation.

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Strong inversion and persistent cold air pool: January 2017

I'm looking at the inversion strength of the cold air pool in northern Utah between January 25 and February 5, 2017. This occurred during the Utah Winter Fine Particle Study (more about that study here: https://www.esrl.noaa.gov/csd/groups/csd7/measurements/2017uwfps/).

Inversions occur when the upper level air is warmer than the air below it. This makes it difficult for air to mix vertically and dilute pollutants from the surface. One way to determine the strength of an inversion is to compare the potential temperature at 700 mb (approximately the height of the mountain peaks) and the potential temperature at the surface. In the top figure in the graph below, I show potential temperature from the HRRR analyses at 700 mb (red) and the surface (blue). The 12-hr HRRR forecast is also shown in yellow. The observed potential temperature from the Salt Lake City radiosonde are plotted as black dots. The bottom figure is simply the difference between the upper level and surface level potential temperature, labeled "Surface Temperature Deficit."

For the most part, the HRRR analyses correspond well with the balloon observations, except the HRRR doesn't mix out as early as was observed on February 4th.

Below shows the potential temperature at the surface and 700 mb, as well as the differences from the HRRR model analyses for the course of the event. The right panel shows the difference between surface and 700 hPa potential temperature. Areas that turn dark red is where the inversion is strongest.