Cold, dry weather means diminished N. Utah air quality
The air out there • Still not ‘Red’ but ‘Yellow’ breathability alert out for Wasatch Front.
Published: February 12, 2013 11:18AM
Updated: February 12, 2013 07:42AM

A cold, dry spell is keeping temperatures below normal and allowing urban valley pollution levels to rise once again in northern Utah.

The National Weather Service forecast called for daytime highs around 30 degrees Tuesday and the mid-30s on Wednesday under partly cloudy skies along the Wasatch Front. Overnight lows were pegged for the low- to mid-20s.

Although a long way from the weeks of “Red,” or unhealthy air quality levels earlier this year, the Utah Division of Air Quality’s breathability grades for Salt Lake, Davis, Weber and Utah counties were degraded on Tuesday to “Yellow,” or compromised. Wednesday was expected to be no better.

However, Box Elder, Cache, Duchesne and Tooele counties, along with the Uintas, held on to their “Green” air quality assessments for the mid-week period.

Southern Utahns, meanwhile, expected a comparatively balmy daytime high temperature hovering around 50 degrees Tuesday and near 60 on Wednesday under mostly clear skies. Overnight lows were forecast at 30 degrees.

The Utah Avalanche Center reported that the risk for dangerous high-elevation backcountry snowslides remained elevated. The Moab-area slopes of southeastern Utah earning a “considerable” grade and the rest of the state’s mountains rated at “moderate” risk Tuesday through Wednesday.

Salt Lake City’s high for Tuesday was set at 30, followed by an overnight low of 24 ahead of Wednesday’s forecast high of 35 degrees; Ogden looked for 27, 23 and 33 degrees, respectively; Provo 31, 22 and 38; Logan 21, 17 and 31; Wendover 32, 15 and 35; Duchesne 22, 5 and 26; Cedar City 33, 9 and 40; St. George 50, 31 and 58; and Moab 36, 14 and 37 degrees.

remims@sltrib.com

Twitter: @remims