Like much of the country, the primary air pollutants of concern in Utah are ozone and particulate matter (PM). These pollutants typically exhibit substantial seasonal variation, with ozone higher in the summer and PM higher during the winter. The majority of the Utah's population inhabits a relatively small area along the Wasatch Front. During the winter, the valleys in this region also experience what are known as temperature inversions, where a layer of warmer air aloft traps air near the ground and prevents mixing. This concentrates the effects of human activity, and most air quality issues in Utah occur in this region. Below, you can observe the effect of an inversion: the left side shows a day with very low levels of PM, while the right side shows a day three weeks later during an inversion with higher levels of PM2.5.
Downtown Salt Lake City