11.8 Persistent Cold-Air Pool Study (PCAPS)—A new field research program to be conducted in Utah's Salt Lake Basin

Thursday, 2 September 2010: 9:45 AM
Alpine Ballroom A (Resort at Squaw Creek)
C. David Whiteman, University of Utah, Salt Lake City, UT; and J. D. Horel and S. Zhong

Persistent multi-day temperature inversions occur occasionally in winter in the Salt Lake Basin and in other areas of the Intermountain Basin and other mountain areas of the world. These inversions produce important effects on local populations including high air pollution, low temperatures, weak diurnal temperature oscillations, fog and low clouds, freezing rain and drizzle, and local transportation problems. The onset and cessation of the cold-air pools are difficult to forecast using presently available tools and techniques.

A new NSF-funded research program called PCAPS (Persistent Cold-Air Pool Study) will be conducting a field study in the Salt Lake Basin from 1 December 2010 to 7 February 2011 to study the meteorological conditions that give rise to the initiation, persistence and breakup of these cold-air pools. This research program will use analysis of observed case studies, climatological investigations, and numerical flow modeling to gain a better understanding of the meteorology of these events. The talk will describe the upcoming research program, stating the research goals and hypotheses, the participating organizations, the instruments and approaches to be used in collecting cold-air pool data, and the modeling plans.

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