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Health, Science & Environment

USU Utah Climate Center: 4-9 Day Valley Inversion Likely Next Week

Utah State University Utah Climate Center

The Utah State University Climate Center’s inversion forecast is showing the season’s first big spike in probable valley inversions starting next week. The bad air could last through December 15th according to the forecast. USU climate scientists have been successfully doing long range inversion predictions in Northern Utah since 2010. Donna Kemp Spangler is the spokesperson for the Utah Department of Environmental Quality. She says the real value in knowing what’s coming is being proactive so people can make plans to minimize the impacts of the bad air.

“If you can consolidate your trips, if you’re actually out driving, just do it all at once because the first mile is the worst mile. That’s when you’re starting up your car.”

Spangler says the other big contributor to visible air pollution is wood burning. She says that’s something that’s easier to plan around.

“It doesn’t make much sense to burn wood, in your fireplace or anything, if we know that by the weekend we’re going to be in an inversion or we’re going to a have poor air quality event.”

Spangler says the Division of Air Quality forecasts 24 to 72 hours ahead but does monitor the USU chart.

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