Observations and Numerical Modeling of Wintertime Cold Air Pools in the Uintah and Salt Lake Basins
This study examines the meteorological processes associated with several wintertime pollution episodes in Utah's Uintah and Salt Lake Basins using observations and numerical Weather Research and Forecasting model simulations and observations collected from the Persistent Cold Air Pool and Uintah Basin Ozone Studies. The temperature, vertical structure, and winds within these cold air pools was found to vary as a function of snow cover, snow albedo, land use, cloud cover, large-scale synoptic flow, and episode duration. We evaluate the sensitivity of key atmospheric features such as stability, planetary boundary layer depth, local wind flow patterns and transport mechanisms to variations in surface forcing, clouds, and synoptic flow. Finally, noted deficiencies in the meteorological models of cold air pools and modifications to the model snow and microphysics treatment that have resulted in improved cold pool simulations will be presented.