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Air Quality in the News
December 12th, 2014
The Salt Lake County Board of Health held a hearing Thursday night to allow the public to comment on a proposed regulation that would outlaw[...]
December 10th, 2014
Air quality in Cache Valley was recorded in recent years as some of the worst in the nation, and the season for that bad air[...]
December 7th, 2014
Much of the Intermountain West is likely to blow past lower, more stringent limits on ground-level ozone proposed by the Obama Administration. The U.S. Environmental[...]
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BY: C. David Whiteman
Department of Atmospheric Sciences
University of Utah
The meteorology and climatology of persistent winter inversions in the Salt Lake Valley are summarized using 40 years of meteorological and air quality data, and a new method of evaluating the particulate contribution from contemporaneous inversions in the Bingham Canyon Mine is described and evaluated.
This presentation will highlight results from a climatological investigation of meteorological effects on persistent wintertime inversions or cold-air pools in the Salt Lake Valley using 40 years of historical data. The talk will answer common questions such as: How frequently do these epsiodes occur? What meteorological conditions lead to them? How long do they last? Have inversions gotten worse over the last 40 years? How deep are the valley aerosol layers? Are there places in the valley where particulate concentrations are lower? This description of winter inversions in the Salt Lake Valley will be followed by a description of the meteorology affecting contemporaneous inversions in the Bingham Copper Mine. Meteorological effects there produce a more regular ventilation of aerosols than we experience in the Salt Lake Valley. Our meteorological investigations in the open-pit mine have led us to a new method that, with additional data, may prove useful for estimating particulate ventilation from the mine. This method will be described.
Dr. Whiteman has been a Research Professor in the Atmospheric Sciences Department of the University of Utah since 2005. He specializes in mountain meteorology, and has made many contributions to the understanding of thermally driven flows and temperature inversions in valleys and basins. He is the author of Mountain Meteorology: Fundamentals and Applications, published by Oxford University Press, and is a Fellow of the American Meteorological Society. Dr. Whiteman has held visiting scientist and professor appointments at a number of Alpine universities.