Weather Wise: Inversions and Winter Air Quality

Posted at 6:03 AM, Dec 28, 2018
and last updated 2018-12-28 08:03:37-05

During the summer, wildfires contribute to poor air quality in Montana.  But in winter, strong inversions can trap pollution for days.  These inversions are caused by topography and sinking cold air.  The addition of high pressure exacerbates the inversions, sometimes causing them to persist for days on end.

Wildfire smoke is the cause of brown skies and pollution in the summer, but smoke from fires is also the culprit for poor air quality in wintertime as well.  Wood burning stoves are the reason for all of the smoke in the air during winter.  One wood stove may not seem like it produces a very large amount of smoke, but a high volume of wood-burning stoves in a concentrated area is enough to make our air less-than-ideal.

And now, you’re a little more weather wise.