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Inversion sets in over Salt Lake Valley ahead of winter storm

Posted at 10:57 AM, Dec 20, 2021
and last updated 2021-12-20 13:04:43-05

SALT LAKE CITY — As we wait for another round of winter weather people are hoping we don’t have a gray Christmas. Right now the inversion is back at many points along to Wasatch Front.

This is what we are all going to have to breathe and live with until that next storm comes through. It’s ugly and it’s definitely unhealthy.

And as our population continues to grow it’s something we’re going to have to deal with on a regular basis.

Warm weather on top combined with lower temperatures below traps all the pollution in between.

Scott Williams with HEAL Utah has been working for years with lawmakers and medical professionals to try and reduce the pollution. Working with legislators and UTA, one of the things they’ve been able to achieve is free public transit during days of heavy inversion.

That’s going to happen this Tuesday and Wednesday, just in time for folks to get some last minute Christmas shopping done.

And if you have to use your car, plan your errands ahead of time.

“We call it trip chaining where are your car puts out a lot more pollution when is first started cold then when it’s warm," said Scott Williams. "So if you plan your trip so your car stays warm and then you’re not stopping and starting with cold starts that is a huge benefit. Also 2 cycle and 4 cycle snow blowers are a major source of pollution so trying to figure out an alternative, electric ones or get the shovel out.”

Also Tuesday and Wednesday, state government workers who are eligible will pivot to work from home which will hopefully reduce the number of cars out on the road and reduce pollution.

The inversion can be really troubling for people with asthma and anyone who already has a pre-existing, upper respiratory condition. The one good thing just about everyone has now is a mask thanks to the COVID pandemic. And wearing those can greatly reduce some of those particulates that you’re breathing in. Especially the N 95 surgical masks.