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Old 02-17-2013, 03:06 PM
 
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7,000 feet.

That is the elevation of Park City, with generally quite lovely air quality. I've heard reports that even there it is not entirely perfect, but in comparison to Salt Lake City surely marvelous. Much below there, in driving down the canyon towards SLC, and the blue sky can be quickly eclipsed.

As previously mentioned, it is not necessarily a question of elevation but regional geography and the pollution sources within. In Utah that seems to equate with the Front Range, running well north and south of SLC. I've seen that smog cloud in December from shortly below Park City all the way across to just past Wendover, NV. The worst air quality was centered at SLC, and clearing somewhat the farther west one went, but not entirely left at last until climbing up out of it in Nevada. Looking back east, it appeared as one big sea of dense fog.
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Old 02-22-2013, 08:14 PM
 
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While it can happen at any level (and on exceptional day it may reach really high) in general you can get above the smog layer. If you are up on the 'bench' or higher you will likely be looking down on it most of the time. I'm not sure what elevation this is but would guess 4,800 - 5,000 feet. Of course if you live at that level you might work or at least shop at a lower level. If it's a real concern visit during the winter months and see first hand.
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Old 02-24-2013, 10:40 AM
 
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I live at 4975 feet. The inversions come slightly later and end slightly sooner, but no way to escape the buildup completely.
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Old 03-04-2013, 08:35 PM
 
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Would someone kindly explain to this flat-lander what exactly an 'Inversion' is? I hear they have this up in Medford, Oregon and I'm getting most curious? Seems serious! I thought it was related to the wet climate in Oregon but evidently not. ? I would appreciate anyone explaining exactly what it is.
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Old 03-05-2013, 02:12 AM
 
Location: Salt Lake City/Las Vegas
1,589 posts, read 2,194,645 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brandyrun View Post
Would someone kindly explain to this flat-lander what exactly an 'Inversion' is?
A good question. At the risk of oversimplification, as there are different types of inversions:

In Utah, dense cold air settles in the valleys and does not move. Pollutants then start to build up in the stagnant air. Typically, a storm or front passing through is needed to exchange the air out. The longer we go without some sort of blow-out, the worse the air gets.

Bill
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Old 03-05-2013, 04:47 PM
 
Location: east millcreek
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Normally, air temperatures decrease with height/elevation. An "Inversion" is simply when the opposite occurs.
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Old 03-09-2013, 12:21 PM
 
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HI everyone, we lived in Daybreak for a year, have since moved to Colorado. The inversions are extremely bad, and it comes and goes for 2-3 months. If any one in your family has asthma or a lung condition, I would not move to Salt Lake City metro, even in Daybreak you could feel it in your lungs. We had to drive to the Wasatch Front every day for my sons swimming and even in the car I could feel it. Scary stuff, and when we did some research before we moved, it wasn't talked about that much, and it's serious stuff.
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Old 06-14-2013, 07:30 AM
 
Location: East Millcreek
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Quote:
Originally Posted by coolcats View Post
I live at 4975 feet. The inversions come slightly later and end slightly sooner, but no way to escape the buildup completely.
This answers a question I've been wondering about as well. Can you elaborate? I understand that along the front there's no total escape. 5000 ft seems to be about the upper limit of construction on the east bench. When you're up around 5000 ft is it fair to say that the cumulative time you're subjected to the inversions is significantly less than, say, at 4100 ft in valley? 5000 ft seems to be about the upper limit of construction on the east bench.

I'd also assume that the subjective inversion "intensity" is less than lower down too. Since you're higher up there's obviously less haze between you and the clear upper air above the haze and so things are appreciably brighter than the valley floor, even when it's at its worst. True? Or is this splitting hairs?
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Old 06-14-2013, 08:52 AM
 
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I find it pitiful that so many sit around here wondering if they buy a house at a certain elevation if they can escape the inversion. Its kind of a version of "let everyone else drown, how do I find one of the last life preservers".

What's needed is serious talk about reducing the air quality problem. This may take the form of days when driving is banned for a segment of the population. It may require mandatory carpooling. It may require sale of special fuel for automobiles.

I may slap the next person who asks this question.
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Old 06-14-2013, 10:24 AM
 
Location: East Millcreek
2,399 posts, read 5,220,807 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by markg91359 View Post
I find it pitiful that so many sit around here wondering if they buy a house at a certain elevation if they can escape the inversion. Its kind of a version of "let everyone else drown, how do I find one of the last life preservers".

What's needed is serious talk about reducing the air quality problem. This may take the form of days when driving is banned for a segment of the population. It may require mandatory carpooling. It may require sale of special fuel for automobiles.

I may slap the next person who asks this question.
Moderator cut: rude
What makes you think that personally mitigating the issue by living in the least unfavorable place runs counter to serious talk about the problem? I'm all for doing everything possible to reduce the problem at it's source, from cycling to electric cars to shutting down the industrial stacks at certain times. And I vote that way too on every level. But I haven't even moved yet. And I may not move to SLC at all, depending on how YOU guys collectively start to tackle the issue.

And you want serious discussion? Serious talk (i.e., actionable programs, not throw-away lines from pols) isn't occurring because that would require regulations and limits on sources. So, then I would ask why YOU and your fellow Utahns haven't thrown the governor and his coterie of anti-environmentalist/pro-business right wing politicians out on their ears and instead elected officials that want to talk seriously. Oh yeah. Now I remember why. It's cause the body politic also hates the federal government (and government in general), hates taxes, loves guns, loves pickups and shares an individualistic, wild west ethos where shared responsibility or sacrifice for the common good always takes a back seat when it might limit individual freedom of action. And that's reflected in who gets elected. Because, after all, at the end of the day regulations and limits on behavior are nothing more than shared sacrifice for a greater common good.

Bottom line: Everybody hates the inversion, but nobody is willing to vote for the kind of officials inclined to actually do something about it cause that would cost money, place limits on growth and limit individual freedom of action. And so it goes. So don't take shots at out-of-staters trying to make sense of a situation that's really pretty absurd. The fixes aren't even that hard, they just require a changed mindset and common will. Both are obviously absent. I sit here scratching my head wondering why you guys seem to have your head stuck where the sun don't shine.

Last edited by SouthernBelleInUtah; 06-14-2013 at 02:33 PM..
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