Utah forecast: A bit warmer, a lot more polluted

Published December 16, 2013 11:57 am
Unhealthy air • Salt Lake, Davis, Utah, Cache counties are in the "red" zone.
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The Wasatch Front forecast is for increased coughing and gagging under thickening inversions clogging Northern Utah's urban valleys. But it will be a little warmer.

As daytime temperatures rose above freezing in northern and central Utah for the first time in weeks, melting snow and ice were releasing moisture into the sooty skies, contributing to morning and evening fog and slippery road surfaces.

That development was behind the National Weather Service's issuance of a Hazardous Weather Outlook for the western two-thirds of the state beginning Monday and stretching through the coming weekend.

By mid-week, forecasters predicted the rotten air quality — which earned Salt Lake, Davis, Utah and Cache counties "red," or unhealthy grades for Tuesday — would only worsen. A dry, stable northwestern air flow aloft was to just strengthen inversions shrouding those counties' valleys on Wednesday.

Little relief from the woeful air quality was expected anytime soon; a Thursday storm system was to be so weak that it will do little to scour Utah's skies of automobile and industrial pollutants.

The temperatures were improving, though, with the Wasatch Front to warm into the low to mid-30s on Tuesday, mirroring Monday's forecast. Overnight lows will be near 15 degrees, a bit less chilly than the single-digits of the past couple weeks.

Southern Utahns, too, were shaking off abnormally low temperatures. Highs Tuesday were to be in the low to mid-40s with overnight lows in the mid-20s.

The Utah Avalanche Center rated the risk for potentially deadly snowslides in the state's mountains as "moderate."

The Tribune's weather page at http://www.sltrib.com/weather provides more extensive, community-by-community forecast information.


Twitter: @remims



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