In January Utah had the worst air in the country. Salt Lake City is usually known for its beautiful nature, national forests and snow- capped mountains as far as the eye can see, in January if you were stuck in the valley anytime during the month of January it was a very different picture.
Your lungs probably burned many stayed inside and tons more went to the ER for bronchitis and pneumonia. On red air days you are asked to not exercise or be outside for long periods, especially if you are a child, have sensitive lungs and or a senior. Doctors have come together to inform the state officials that “something needs to change.” The air was so bad in January it was the equivalent to smoking a pack a cigarettes per-day. Many days without seeing the sun only a ball of hazy light in the day hours it looked more like a continuous dawn and dusk threw out the day.
The biggest problem is cause by a temperature inversion. It is when the valley is colder than the sunny mountain areas, which traps the cold are and pollution over the valley. The inversion is a seasonal problem, but by far the worst most have seen in there time here in Salt Lake City, UT.
The cut off for clean air is 35 micrograms of pollution per cubic meter, in January Salt Lake City had reached 130. February isn’t looking to be getting any better.
The pictures posted in the article are from my view from the valley one of course what my normal view on a cold “clean” day and what it looked like for many days and continues to look like with our smog blanket.