Entering its fifth consecutive year of drought, Utah is now considered the driest state in the U.S. This true-color image was acquired over Utah on July 23, 2003. The scene shows a dust storm (tan pixels) originating in the western part of Utah and blowing northeastward over Great Salt Lake.
A widespread pall of smoke (gray pixels) arcs from the west toward the northeast (upper right) of this scene, spanning from Nevada, across southeastern Idaho, and into Wyoming. The red polygon (upper left) shows the location of an active fire burning in southeast Idaho and producing a thick smoke plume.
Utah is a state in the western United States. It became the 45th state admitted to the U.S. on January 4, 1896. Utah is the 13th-largest by area, 30th-most-populous, and 11th-least-densely populated of the 50 United States. Utah has a population of more than 3 million according to the Census estimate for July 1, 2016. Urban development is mostly concentrated in two areas: the Wasatch Front in the north-central part of the state, which contains approximately 2.5 million people; and Washington County in Southern Utah, with over 160,000 residents. Utah is bordered by Colorado to the east, Wyoming to the northeast, Idaho to the north, Arizona to the south, and Nevada to the west. It also touches a corner of New Mexico in the southeast.
Approximately 62% of Utahs are reported to be members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church), making Utah the only state with a majority population belonging to a single church. This greatly influences Utahn culture, politics, and daily life. The LDS Church’s world headquarters is located in Salt Lake City.
Credit: Image courtesy Jeff Schmaltz, MODIS Rapid Response Team at NASA GSFC