Environment

Times have changed. The majority of Americans now live in urban environments, and the current generation is defined by technology. This has left some public land agencies fighting to stay relevant.

Bingham Junction's new park in Midvale, Utah.
midvalecity.org

U.S. census figures show a suburban Salt Lake City area formerly known for smoking smelters that contaminated the ground has become one of the fastest-growing neighborhoods in the state.

The former Superfund site is home to sparkling apartments, entertainment options and offices — just two years after federal regulators removed the site from its list of toxic areas. The site, now called Bingham Junction, had been contaminated with arsenic and lead. But those days are gone.

avalanche_storm.jpg

The Utah Avalanche Center is expecting dangerous avalanche conditions in the mountains of northern and central Utah Tuesday and Wednesday.

"We are just kind of waiting for the storm to develop. It does look like it is going to be pretty productive,” said Toby Weed, employee for the Utah Avalanche Center. “We have issued an avalanche watch and we are going to up that to an avalanche warning tomorrow, we think.”

Prairie dogs inhabiting southern Utah.  The supreme court won't hear a suit over prairie dog protections.
humanesociety.org

The U.S. Supreme Court won't hear an appeal from Utah property owners challenging endangered-species protections for prairie dogs, but the plaintiffs say the case has nevertheless made a mark as the Trump administration moves to loosen the contested rules.

Lawyers for the Cedar City residents say their lawsuit was a key driver of the new federal plan that would make it easier to remove or kill prairie dogs that they said were overrunning their town.

Dense fog in Utah was responsible for canceling dozens of flights in Salt Lake City, and impairing drivers by reducing visiblity to less than a quarter-mile.
en.wikipedia.org

A dense fog blanketing the Salt Lake City area has forced the cancellation of dozens of flights into and out of the airport.

Airport officials say 30 outbound and 25 inbound flights were canceled on Sunday after the heavy fog settled over a wide swath of northern Utah. Nearly two dozen more flights were diverted to other states, including airports in Las Vegas, Idaho and Colorado.

Authorities are telling fliers to check with their airlines as several Monday flights have also been canceled.

Colorado River, a key water source in the western united states, is expected to flow at only half of it's average volume.
americanrivers.org

The first forecast of the year for Colorado River water supplies is a bleak one.

The river that serves as a key source of water for seven states including California, Colorado, Utah and Nevada is expected to flow at only about 54 percent of its average volume during the key runoff period from April to July.

The National Weather Service's Colorado Basin River Forecast Center in Salt Lake City released a report Wednesday showing December snow totals as low as 20 percent of average in some areas.

Over 100 Years Of Bird Counting

Dec 28, 2017
jber.jb.mil

The 118th Annual Christmas Bird Count, organized by the Audubon Society, is in full swing. The event dates back to Christmas Day 1900 and has been held in Cache Valley since 1955. 

Thorsten Becker / Wikimedia

In the Namib Desert of southern Africa, strange circles dot the landscape as regularly as polka-dots on a dress. The bare spots are ringed by lush grass. These structures are known as fairy circles.  The fairy circles repeat for miles – and how they came to be is hotly debated. Scientists are divided regarding their origin:  animal or vegetable?

http://maxpixel.freegreatpicture.com

Last week, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, also known as FERC, formally accepted the state’s application for the Lake Powell Pipeline. This notice affirms that the proposed 140-mile pipeline, which would draw water from the Colorado River to serve southwestern Utah communities is ready for environmental analysis and public comment. 

Utah City Leaders Commit To Improve Air Quality

Dec 19, 2017
Sierra Club

Park City leaders committed to be a net-zero community more than a year ago. Now other cities in Utah are committing to do the same.

When Park City announced it would become a 100 percent renewable energy municipality by 2022, the Sierra Club helped get the word out and build support within the community.

imgrum.org

When pollution settles over Utah's valleys in the wintertime, sometimes creating the dirtiest air in the country, some residents don breathing masks to protect themselves.

Experts say they aren't necessarily a cure-all. The masks usually aren't tight-fitting enough to protect a person's lungs and they don't have filters fine enough to stop the tiny particulate matter that is harmful.

gousoe.uen.org

A dirty layer of winter air is hovering over many northern Utah cities as an inversion sets in that is expected to last for days, if not weeks.

National Weather Service meteorologist Pete Wilensky said Friday that a high-pressure system over much of the U.S. West is leading to the murky winter air that causes problems for people with asthma and other respiratory illnesses.

productivityreport.org

Salt Lake City has hit record-high temperatures two days in a row.

The National Weather Service in Salt Lake City says the city hit 68 degrees at 2:20 a.m. Monday, breaking the 1998 mark of 67 degrees.

earthtimes.org

Utah's October rainfall was 80 percent lower than the month's average.

Historically, October has been the start of the state's rainy season. Most of the month's rainfall this year, however, was in isolated mountainous areas and was extremely sparse.

Utah 'HeatRisk' Warnings Available For Public Use

Jul 25, 2017
deq.utah.gov

With record high temperatures this summer, Utahns can now better address and prepare for the heat with a new public heat advisory statement system.

Heavy Rain, Flooding Hits Kane County

Jul 10, 2017
climatecentral.org

Authorities in southern Utah say the town of Kanab has been dealing with flooding after being hit by sudden heavy rainfall.

The Kane County Sheriff's Office issued a call for people to come help fill sandbags after at least an inch of rain fell Sunday night. The surrounding area also got 2 inches of rain.

cdc.gov

A record-setting heat wave is passing through parts of Utah for several days.

The National Weather Service announced that the temperature at the Salt Lake City Airport reached 105 degrees on Wednesday, surpassing the 104 record set in 1973.

Star Tribune

Heat is the leading weather-related killer in the United States, causing hundreds of fatalities each year. The National Weather Service is forecasting heat risks to help reduce the number of weather related deaths nationally, including Utah.

merwinconservancy.org

Northern Utah residents woke up to find snow covering their lawns, trees and flowering plants in a fairly rare late spring storm.

In many neighborhoods around the Salt Lake City area, preset sprinklers watered lawns covered in snow.

utahlakecommission.org

A spring snowstorm is headed for the mountains of northern Utah and a flood warning has been extended for the Provo River northeast of Orem and Provo.

The National Weather Service says the river will remain at or near flood stage below the Deer Creek Reservoir through at least Friday morning.

Utah Avalanche Center Issues Avalanche Warning

Jan 4, 2017
Utah Avalanche Center

The Forest Service Utah Avalanche Center in Salt Lake City has issued a backcountry avalanche warning in effect from 1 p.m, Tuesday to 6 a.m. Thursday.

This weekend, a slow-moving winter storm will impact Utah beginning Friday afternoon and lasting through Sunday night.

The entire state will see accumulating snow through Sunday, but the mountains will reach the largest amounts of snow. The northern mountains are predicted to receive one to two feet of snow, while the southern mountains are predicted to receive 10 to 20 inches. Valleys North of 1-70 are expected to receive 4 to 8 inches of snow.

inversion prediction 2 4 13
Utah Climate Center

The Utah Climate Center has released a new inversion forecast for Utah, which predicts a return to inversion conditions through the end of next week, before a cleaning period begins mid-February.

The latest climate forecast for the inversion changes the predictions for the coming inversion. Rob Gilles said this current inversion is shaping up to be a much bigger event, rather than a single instance.

"What was predicted to be a late January to early February probability of inversion is now connected to the current ridging and together form a huge event," he said. 

A cold front is a-comin' but we could enjoy some above-average temperatures while we wait for it.

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