It’s one of those days where it’s just impossible to convince yourself to drive home at the end of the day, knowing that you’re about to trade a view like this:
For one a little more like this:
While we have been under a strong surface inversion for the majority of the past few days here in the Salt Lake valley, since yesterday evening, the inversion has deepened. as well as become quite moist. The dense fog and low-level cloud make that quite evident. Though the air quality is becoming steadily worse as pollutants accumulate, the deepening of the inversion has likely slowed the process some. For those interested in the air quality, the ‘official’ measurements show us sitting solidly in Unhealthy for Sensitive (~36 µg/m3) for the majority of the past 24 hours.
So when will it end? When’s the next snow? Well, models hint at a very weak inverted trough to impact our regional weather by the end of the weekend into Monday. The low-level easterly flow models hint will be associated with this passage may help weaken the valley inversions by the advection of colder air aloft – weakening the vertical temperature gradient and allowing for a little mixing. Additionally, drier air from the east may help clear some of the fog and low cloud, though where exactly is not clear – the northern end of the Wasatch seems favored.
By Tuesday we finally see more zonal flow, and the weakening of the ridge may finally release the valleys from the inversion’s grasp. Instability and weak synoptic forcing for lift and precipitation will be present across the region, but it’s hard to say how much snow to expect at this point – anything from flurries to feet is possible by the end of next week. Stay tuned and we’ll let you know as we know.