Pollution-clearing storm? Don't hold your breath or maybe you should
Looking for a fresh snowstorm to clear the pollution shrouding Utah's urban valleys? Don't hold your breath.
Or, perhaps you should, as much as possible, when outdoors.
That would be because the Utah Air Quality Division on Monday issued a Mandatory Air Quality Action alert for Salt Lake, Davis, Utah, Weber, Box Elder and Cache counties. That advisory stretches through Tuesday, when a decidedly wimpy storm system is expected to move into the region.
"Solid fuel burning devices must not be used. Open burning may not occur; including fire pits, fire rings, and campfires. Reduce vehicle use by consolidating trips. Industry should optimize operating conditions to minimize air pollution emissions," the division stated.
Tooele and Uintah counties were under a less-restrictive Voluntary Air Quality Action order, but the general advice for the elderly, very young and anyone with heart disease or compromised lung function: avoid prolonged outdoor activity.
As for that storm, the National Weather Service said it will be so weak that it will do little more than increase cloud cover and warm nighttime temperatures a few degrees. It will not, however, scour out the inversion-trapped, and worsening, particulate and smog pollution blanketing Utah's metro areas.
Temperatures along the Wasatch Front were to remain in the low-30s Tuesday, same as Monday, with overnight lows in the upper-teens. No snowfall was in the forecast.
Southern Utah looked for highs in the low-50s on Tuesday, mirroring Monday's forecast, and overnight lows in the mid-20s.
The Utah Avalanche Center began the abbreviated, final week of 2013 by rating the state's mountains at "considerable" risk for potentially deadly snowslides. The only exception was the "moderate" grade given to the Moab district.