Amy Joi O'Donoghue, Deseret News

Amy Joi O'Donoghue

Deseret News

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Recent articles by Amy Joi:

What can be done to save Utah’s dying inland sea, the Great Salt Lake?

Utah’s Great Salt Lake is in trouble, which is why hundreds of people representing myriad agencies, advocacy organizations, industry and sportsmen convened for a half summit, making plain that fixing what ails the lake is a top political, fiscal and conservation goal for all. → Read More

Snowstorm hits northern Utah, could snarl Wednesday morning commute

Light snow is already falling in parts of northern Utah and is slated to steadily increase in intensity through Thursday morning. While there might be a slight lull in storm activity Tuesday night, the National Weather Service in Salt Lake City said rain and snow will pick up just in time for motorists who are out and about Wednesday morning. → Read More

Colorado wildfires: How the West’s drought can devastate even in winter

Downed fire lines caused by winds gusting up to 100 mph led to devastating grass fires that have razed hundreds of homes and a hotel in the Boulder area of Colorado. Despite the recent onslaught of winter storms, the majority of Utah remains in extreme drought. Here’s why wildfires can remain a concern in certain areas of Utah, even in the middle of winter. → Read More

More snow headed to Utah as bone-chilling cold grips the state

Winter weather is hitting portions of Utah this week, with snow in the forecast for the duration. Then bitter cold strikes over the New Year’s holiday, with a low forecast of zero for Saturday in Ogden. → Read More

Dreaming of a white Christmas? What to expect in the next few days

An extremely active pattern of storms will descend on northern Utah through the end of the year, with winds that could come as early as Wednesday night. Northern Utah mountains are poised to get substantial snow and the valleys will likely see a good amount beginning Sunday. → Read More

Welcome to winter in Utah. ’Tis the season for gunky inversions

The dreaded inversion season has settled over Utah’s Wasatch Front, prompting state air pollution regulators to issue a prohibition on wood-burning devices and request that motorists limit trips on the roads. A segment of state employees will also be able to work from home Thursday to help limit tailpipe emissions. → Read More


The pain of the West-wide drought in 2021

Like a sinister specter that won't vanish, drought was already writing the playbook for water supplies in Utah and the rest of the West as early as fall of 2020. → Read More

Northeastern Utah’s Uinta Basin among the ‘leakiest’ in the nation for methane

A new study suggests northeastern Utah’s Uinta Basin is among the "leakiest" in the nation for methane emissions, but it also implies companies are getting better about controlling the potent greenhouse gas. → Read More


No storms in sight: Wasatch Front air quality worsens as high pressure system builds

Inversion days are back, and state regulators are asking Utahns to drive less, refrain from burning wood and take public transportation, if possible. → Read More


The West-wide drought and the struggles of Idaho, Utah

The sunny skies and pleasant fall afternoons may bode well for your mental health, but they're not going to help you when it comes to next year's irrigation season. → Read More

Power play pits rural Utah concerns against Southern California

Southern California owns a power plant in Utah’s Millard County that is transitioning from coal to natural gas. Utah lawmakers moved to strip the operating entity of some its autonomy. Could that chase the plant — the county’s biggest employer — out of Utah? → Read More

No U.S. coal plants by 2030? John Kerry makes bold prediction in Glasgow

U.S. coal plants are already being retired at a rapid pace, but President Joe Biden’s climate envoy, John Kerry, told media at Glasgow’s COP26 conference that there will be no coal plants operating in the United States by 2030. Can that happen? → Read More


Did Trump mess with the northern spotted owl? Feds say yes

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service said Tuesday it is proposing reversing a Trump-era decision to eliminate critical habitat protections for the northern spotted owl in the Pacific Northwest. → Read More


United Nations conference to shine a light on climate change. Do Americans care?

As an estimated 20,000 people descend on Glasgow, Scotland, to discuss climate change and emission tamping goals, the massive United Nations conference, called COP26, will highlight progress, failures and give rise to a call for countries to more aggressively pursue clean energy. → Read More

Why heating bills are going up: Energy costs increasing in Utah, globally

Natural gas costs have more than doubled from last year. Experts say the most efficient, least expensive energy is the kind you don’t use. Utah is one of 10 places picked to pursue "connected communities" to advance energy efficiencies. → Read More

Is it really time to build islands on Utah Lake?

Islands on Utah Lake? More public beaches, campgrounds and cabins? Is this the future of Utah Lake? An ambitious proposal aims to transform the large body of freshwater. Other restoration efforts are already underway and skepticism is as plentiful as the phragmites on its shores. → Read More

Season’s first winter snowstorm hits Intermountain West. What’s next?

More than a foot of snow is expected to pile up at some higher elevation locations in the northern Rockies region, impacting travel and dropping temperatures. Utah’s Cache Valley is seeing snow, as well as the Cedar City area. How long will this storm last? → Read More

Brace yourself. When wintry weather will hit Utah

After enduring the record-breaking heat of this year’s drought, constrained irrigation times and closed boat ramps at many of Utah’s reservoirs, residents will get some chilly relief next week as a cold and wet storm moves in. In other words, pull out the winter coat and prepare yourself for freezing temperatures and mountain snowfall in Utah. → Read More

As the dry, dry water year ends, did you pass the conservation test?

All of Utah is in drought, with close to 90% designated as extreme or exceptional. That means off-the-charts dry. Across the state, residents, businesses and institutions were asked to step up and conserve. Here’s a look at what happened. → Read More

Wintry weather on tap for Utah this fall? Don’t hold your breath

The Old Farmers Almanac predicts snowy conditions this winter. But in Utah, climate models suggest more dire conditions — and weather that won’t be helpful to get us out of this drought in the West. → Read More