Inversion, Freezing Rain, Fog and Tons of Snow!

It has been a crazy month of weather here in the Salt Lake valley.

We have had a terrible temperature inversion where the pollution becomes trapped in the valley for days.

You cannot see the sky and the gray weather becomes very depressing as well as harmful to ones’ health.

Below is a link from a recent newspaper article talking about the pollution in the valley:

Sickening fog settles over Salt Lake City area

By PAUL FOY | Associated Press – Thu, Jan 24, 2013

http://news.yahoo.com/sickening-fog-settles-over-salt-lake-city-area-175101232.html

“….The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has singled out the greater Salt Lake region as having the nation’s worst air for much of January, when an icy fog smothers mountain valleys for days or weeks at a time and traps lung-busting soot.

The pollution has turned so bad that more than 100 Utah doctors called Wednesday on authorities to immediately lower highway speed limits, curb industrial activity and make mass transit free for the rest of winter. Doctors say the microscopic soot — a shower of combustion particles from tailpipe and other emissions — can tax the lungs of even healthy people……

“If you can see it, you don’t want to breathe it. Think about what’s going into your body,” Salt Lake City pediatrician Ellie Brownstein said. “It’s essentially like smoking. Instead of breathing clean air, you’re breathing particles that make it harder for your lungs to function and get oxygen.”

Snow cover amplifies the phenomena called a temperature inversion — Salt Lake City was a foggy freezer box Wednesday at 18 degrees, while Park City basked in sunny 43-degree weather. The warmer air aloft acted like a lid on the frigid valley air, leaving it with no place to go……”

I heard on the national news that Salt Lake had the worse air in the entire nation.  We certainly don’t want to broadcast that statistic.

Last week, Salt Lake received freezing rain, which never happens here.

It was so slippery that there were numerous accidents on the roads and we were told to stay home unless it was an emergency situation.

My husband drove to work before the freezing rain reached its’ crescendo.   He went to walk next door to the Great Harvest bakery to get a sandwich for lunch.

As he ventured out of his building, he slipped on the ice two times and turned back to eat leftovers from his office refrigerator.

This is a video of our dogs trying to navigate the ice in the back yard.

David and Kyle had a really hard time walking out to the backyard.  The snow was frozen solid because of the freezing rain.
On the video you can hear Jade talking in the background.  You can also hear me knocking on the window which is the signal for the dogs to come in.

Jade is asking where I am on the video and I am telling her that I am watching the dogs slip on the ice.  We laughed together as the dogs tried to gain traction on the ice.

DSC_9025web-seagulls-in-fog

This is a picture of a huge flock of seagulls flying above the frozen lake.

If you are wondering why the photo is so dull, it is because the temperature inversion mixed with the heavy fog totally limiting our visibility.

This was the next weather phenomenon that we had to endure for a couple of days.

DSC_8992web-hawk-tree-fog

This is a hawk on a tree branch at the Farmington Bird Refuge.

I am only about 20 feet from the raptor but you can tell how low the visibility is because the photo is so faint.

DSC_9009web-hen-pheasant

Here is a female pheasant digging underneath the snow to find something to eat.

Again the visibility is almost nil.

IMG_5981web-bird-bath-filled-with-snow

You can tell from this birdbath that it won’t be in use anytime soon. LOL!

Yesterday as I went into my church meetings at 1:00pm the sky finally was blue for a few hours.

Two hours later we had five inches of new snow.

And when I left church at 4:00pm there were 3 more inches of fresh snow that had accumulated.
The cars all around me were stuck in the snow because none of the roads had been plowed yet.

You could smell burning rubber as tires were spinning in an effort to get out of the drifts of snow.

I noticed one car sliding backwards and as I yelled, “Stop,” I heard a loud bang.  It was too late, the car slid backwards into a car that was attempting to go forward.  What a mess!

The accident happened less than 2 feet from my car.  No one was hurt and there was very little damage to the cars, just some bruised egos.

I was afraid that the car was going to slide into my car but luckily it didn’t.

In the short time that it took me to clear the snow from my car windows, my hair became drenched from the heavy moisture content of this type of wet snow.

The snow from earlier in the month never melted because we have had temperatures in the 20’s the entire month.
The freezing rain turned the snow into one solid mass, then we had about 12 inches of new snow in one 24 hour period that made for mountains of snow.

IMG_5964web-tree-laden-with-snow

This morning, Milt and I went to the family history library for a couple of hours.

There were snowplows, snow blowers, men shoveling snow and 4 wheel vehicles everywhere trying to maneuver the monumental snowstorm from the previous 24 hours.

The trees were stooped over from the weight of the heavy snow.

IMG_5965-web--tree-with-salt-lake-temple-background

This is a picture of the Temple Square buildings with a welcomed blue sky in the background, after surviving days of gray, winter doldrums.

IMG_5970web--temple

The temple’s Gothic turrets displayed a dusting of the newly fallen snow.

The fountain in front of the temple glistened with a cloud of vapor that rose above the water level to make for a very interesting photograph.

It almost looks like the temple is floating on a river.

IMG_5974web-Joseph-Emma-snow

This statue of Joseph and Emma Smith is powdered with snowflakes.

IMG_5977web-Kyle-David-in-snow

Kyle and David didn’t want to venture out into the deep piles of snow.

They hung around the backdoor hoping for me to let them in as quickly as possible.

IMG_5979web-David-snow

David really doesn’t like to go outside when it is cold and especially not when there is more than a few inches of snow.

She will stand on 3 legs so as to avoid as much cold as she can.

All and all, it has been a most interesting January here in Utah.

I can hardly wait to see what Mr. Groundhog has in store for us in the upcoming next 6 weeks. NOT!

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