Thursday morning’s rainstorm improved the air quality in some parts of Utah a bit, but the effects won’t last. The National Weather Service warns of “degraded air quality and reduced visibility through at least the remainder of the week.”
And, while there's hope that a weekend snowstorm could break up the inversion, that's not a sure thing.
Rain made roads in the Salt Lake area slick, and freezing rains in some areas north of Salt Lake City made roads dangerous on Thursday morning. But, at least temporarily, the smog cleared a bit, according to the Utah Division of Environmental Quality. Utah County’s PM 2.5 (fine particulate) level went from yellow (or moderate) to green; Salt Lake and Cache Counties from orange (unhealthy for sensitive groups) to yellow.
On the other hand, Tooele County went from a yellow warning on Wednesday morning to orange on Thursday morning.
According to the National Weather Service, the chance of precipitation will fall to 20% Thursday afternoon, with southwest winds of 8-13 mph. And the inversion is expected to worsen as high pressure builds.
There is some hope for relief when a weekend storm arrives. There is a 40 precent chance of a mix of rain and snow on Saturday after 11 a.m., with a south wind of 15-19 mph. Snow accumulations of less than half an inch are expected in higher terrains, according to the NWS.
The chance of snow increases to 70% Saturday night, with possible accumulations of 1-2 inches; and 80% on Sunday, with the possibility of an additional 1-3 inches, and more snow Sunday night until about 11 a.m. Monday.