Wednesday, January 23, 2013

#855 it's not pretty here

This is basically what it looks like right now in Salt Lake City. We have had this ugly, nasty, awful inversion layer hovering over the valley for most of January. It went away for a couple of days when we had a big snowstorm, but then it just got really cold and the fog and smog and soot just stayed in the air. It's hazy all the time - we can't even see our beautiful mountains. The Environmental Protection Agency says that Salt Lake City has the worst air quality in the nation for most of January. Not something to be too proud of.

From my office window, I usually have a gorgeous view of the capitol building and if I lean to the left and twist my head a little, I can see the city skyline, too. Usually, but not in January.

I hear that if you go up in the mountains, you can breathe clean air and see blue sky. Then, when you come back into the city, you see this:

When you go outside, the first thing you do is cough. You cough because the air is thick and you cough because it is so incredibly cold. I don't think we've had a temperature above 20 degrees (-7C) this whole month, either. Maybe I'm exaggerating. Maybe there was a day, or two when we got over 20. Not much over 20, though.

The Weather Channel says we are in for a little snowfall. That should clear the air, get the smog moving around and out of here for awhile. The bad part is that there will be snow. It's been so cold that the new snow will just stay on the roads, not melting. The good thing is that the Utah Department of Transportation and the County has a pretty good snow removal system and they are usually able to get the roads cleared off and a nice layer of brine solution and/or sand down to make the roads a bit less hazardous. The cars suffer from the salt and the sand, but I can wash my car. I just like to be safe in the storms.

I'm ready for spring!

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