There’s a growing body of evidence that climate change is influencing severe weather events.   A number of studies conclude that storms, particularly tropical storms, will become more frequent or intense.   One study of lightning in the U.S. suggests that for every degree of rise in global average air temperature, we could see a 12 per cent increase in lightning strikes, and mountains make great lightning rods as you can see below.   There are approximately 200,000 cloud to ground lightning flashes in Utah annually.   Changes in Utah’s climate and air pollution impact weather patterns as increasing temperatures are directly linked to rising stronger storms.   A warmer atmosphere holds more water leading to more intense rainfall events.

Satellites in space, hot air baloons, passenger jets, drones, and even the International Space Station fly over Utah on a daily basis.   As they do they capture incredible photos of Utah from high above.

Utah From Space

Wasatch Mountain Range

San Rafael Swell

South Utah Valley

Canyonlands National Park Area

Colorado River & San Juan River (Glen Canyon)

Zion National Park

Western US From Space At Night

Upheaval Dome Meteorite Impact Crater

Sevier Lake

Great Salt Lake

Utah Area At Night

Cache Valley

Salt Lake City And Utah Valley North

Great Salt Lake

Bingham Canyon Mine

Salt Lake City Area At Night

Great Salt Lake And Utah Valley North

Potash Evaporation Ponds

Ninemile Canyon

Capitol Reef National Park

Comb Ridge

Hovenweep National Monument Area

The Filling Of Lake Powell

They are awe-inspiring.   A sunset is almost like a religious moment, a sacred natural experience that Mother Nature repeats every day.   If you missed one last night, it will happen again tonight.   And Utah has lots of places that will knock your socks off if you stop to watch the sun go down.   You also have cloudy skies, lakes, and mountains to help you find the perfect sunsets.   Sunsets are instants of intimate and private contemplation.   Sunsets connects us with God as He paints on his canvas.   Sunsets are one of the most photographed natural events in the world.   There is never a sunset that is the same twice.   When your world moves too fast and you lose yourself in the chaos, stop and introduce yourself to each and every color of a sunset.   Sunsets are so beautiful that they almost seem as if they were shining through the gates of heaven.   Don't forget to look to the east also, the sun sets on the land too.

There are many places to view Utah at night. Of the vast amount of dark skies they are part of the finest dark skies in the world, the highest concentration are in Utah. Explore locations statewide and make plans for experiencing natural wonders after the sun sets. Eighty percent of Americans live in an area where they cannot see the stars of our own galaxy, the Milky Way due to the light pollution of the cities. As humans, we’ve been looking up in awe at the night sky as long as humans have been here. It’s within us to lay out under the stars and look back in time. It can be life-changing when the night sky is on full display. During the day, Utah is known for its beautiful scenery and outdoor activities, but when the sun goes down, a whole new world of excitement opens up. From national parks to city nightlife, there are a lot of amazing things to do in Utah after dark. Places like Salt Lake City have lively nightlife scenes with live music places, rooftop bars, and unique restaurants that you can explore well into the night. After dark, Utah has everything you could want, whether you want to be alone or meet new people. While Utah may not immediately come to mind when thinking about exciting nightlife, there are plenty of options for those looking to experience a night out on the town. In smaller towns throughout the state, visitors can find cozy bars with live music and friendly locals eager to share their love for their community.

Historians agree that the driving of the golden spike marking the completion of the transcontinental railroad at Promontory Summit Utah on 10 May 1869 was one of the most important events in United States history, as it was also in Utah history.   Brigham Young, as community leader and president of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, foresaw the impact that the coming of the railroad would have and wanted the transcontinental rail line built through Salt Lake City.   He was aware of the role that a railroad could play in tying a community together as well as connecting a region with the outside world.   After representatives of both the Central Pacific and the Union Pacific met with him and explained the difficulty and extra expense of a route through Salt Lake City, Young accepted the decision and helped wherever he could to speed the completion of the project, including arranging for the use of local contractors for the construction of the tracks across the territory.   The Union Pacific was the first of the major railroad companies to successfully build within Utah's borders, connecting with the Central Pacific tracks at Promontory in 1869.   Twenty years later, Union Pacific had become the largest railroad company in the territory.   In 1889 the Union Pacific consolidated the control of its interests in Utah and Idaho through the organization of the Oregon Short Line and Utah Northern Railway.

Rail is a constant presence in American life, from the sound of a distant train whistle, to movies with a powerful train running in the background.   America’s freight railroads are a constant but often overlooked presence.   They deliver the consumer staples that stock store shelves, the raw materials that keep manufacturers in production, the energy that heats our homes, the exports that keep America competitive abroad, and just about all the staples we rely on.   America’s colorful locomotives and railcars are an exciting sight as they bound down the rails, and the foundation on which they ride is just as impressive.   At nearly 140,000 miles, the North American rail network has enough track to circle the earth nearly six times! Railroads helped build America, bridging a great divide both symbolically and literally. But this history is itself rooted in technological advancement, with railroads always forging ahead.   Freight rail has shaped the country in ways we don’t always realize.   Today, there is more emphasis on speeding through Utah on highways than on the scenic joys of train travel.   But Utah’s preservation of its rail history makes this a great state to visit for train enthusiasts.   While Utah’s economy is expanding at record rates, the state faces inevitable growing pains.   Officials are working hard to determine how to best combat the problems that accompany this expansion, like troubling air pollution and increased traffic.   Utah’s railways are one of the critical solutions to future economic growth (transportation of goods) and a better way of life (less cargo on highways and roads).

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