This is my first winter in Salt Lake City and my first experience with the "inversion." It's our un-welcome, annual visitor that creates poor air quaility in the valley for part of the winter. I'm told January is typically the worst month for the inversion.
In case you don't know what the "inversion" is all about basically what happens is cold air becomes trapped near the surface with warmer air aloft. Typically it's just the opposite with temperatures decreasing with height allowing pollutants to be mixed out in the atmosphere. The cold pool of air traps pollutants near the surface creating poor air quality until the air is able to mix out. Usually it takes some sort of storm or winds aloft to mix out the air and improve our air quality.
As a result, Salt Lake City can have some of the country's worst air quality during the winter months. This week it seems we're getting the jump on "inversion season." Our long term forcast isn't promising for mixing out our pollution. A weak storm Thursday may help a little but we're going to need more help and it appears little may be on the way for now.
Stay tuned for air quality updates through the week on ABC4, my Facebook
page and on Twitter
Thanks for reading.