The Georgia Dome implosion went off without a hitch. The sky was blue, and the wind was light. Sure, it was a little chilly, but overall it seemed like a great morning to blow some stuff up.

The Georgia Dome was the place the Atlanta Falcons called home until last year, when they moved into a freshly built stadium right next door. When it opened in 1992, the Dome was the largest covered stadium in the world. Now it’s a very large pile of rubble in downtown Atlanta.

After the implosion is when things got interesting, from a meteorological point of view. Instead of dispersing, the fine, dusty particles that formerly hosted the 2016 NFC champions just kind of hovered over the city, as if unwilling to leave. A very light wind pulled the dust south over parts of downtown, and it was even seen from satellite.

There was a cap on the atmosphere that prevented the dust from mixing into the air as it normally would. Temperature usually decreases as you go higher in the atmosphere. On Monday in Atlanta, it sharply increased with height; the trend was inverted.

The temperature of the air controls how it mixes. If there’s an inversion such as this, then everything within that weird, inverted layer is trapped. Including, as we saw, the dust from the Georgia Dome.


(National Weather Service)