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Old 07-17-2014, 09:12 AM
 
Location: Boise, ID
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The air quality today is another con. Winter inversions and summer forest fires. Neither bother me that much, but for someone with breathing problems, it is a big con.
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Old 07-17-2014, 10:30 AM
 
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The summer smoke tends to bug me more than the winter inversions. I'm not a scientist so I don't know which is technically worse for me, but the smoke seems to bother my throat and eyes more, particularly when I'm jogging in the mornings. Hopefully they can get those fires up by Garden Valley under control and we luck out the rest of the summer with new fires. Unfortunately it's very dry and the wet spring created a lot of fuel that ignites easily up in the woods this year.
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Old 07-19-2014, 04:04 PM
 
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Default Inversion

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lacerta View Post
The air quality today is another con. Winter inversions and summer forest fires. Neither bother me that much, but for someone with breathing problems, it is a big con.
@Lacerta - Thank you so very much for bringing this topic up. I was considering moving to Boise, to get away from the winter inversion and horribly high ozone levels in the summer. I'm to the point where I'm stuck indoors almost 6 full months a year here in Salt Lake, taking in supplemental oxygen from a concentrator. I take it, it's a problem there too. Are you clear on the causes there? Do you have a lot of incinerators, oil refineries, etc nearby?
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Old 07-19-2014, 04:05 PM
 
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Default Inversion and Air Quality

@idaD i meant to tag you as well, to get your take too. See my comment above. Thanks!
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Old 07-19-2014, 04:09 PM
 
Location: The City of Trees
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Originally Posted by anncavan View Post
@Lacerta - Thank you so very much for bringing this topic up. I was considering moving to Boise, to get away from the winter inversion and horribly high ozone levels in the summer. I'm to the point where I'm stuck indoors almost 6 full months a year here in Salt Lake, taking in supplemental oxygen from a concentrator. I take it, it's a problem there too. Are you clear on the causes there? Do you have a lot of incinerators, oil refineries, etc nearby?
No oil refineries in the valley. I believe the biggest polluter in the valley is a silly sugar factory. Although we get winter inversions in Boise, they are much more short lived and not as bad as they are in Salt Lake. I went to Salt Lake to visit friends this past winter and was blown away by how disgusting and smelly the inverted air was down there, it made the occasional winter inversions we get in Boise seem like lavender scented incense smoke. You would probably want to come up here and visit during one of our inversions in the winter and compare to what you are used to.

I grew up in SE Idaho and the inversions in SLC were always widely known about. I remember even in Summer while driving down I-15 and passing Tremonton heading towards SLC that the dirty air was visible as a cloud that seemed to hang over the valley and stick to the mountain sides.
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Old 07-19-2014, 04:31 PM
 
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Originally Posted by anncavan View Post
@Lacerta - Thank you so very much for bringing this topic up. I was considering moving to Boise, to get away from the winter inversion and horribly high ozone levels in the summer. I'm to the point where I'm stuck indoors almost 6 full months a year here in Salt Lake, taking in supplemental oxygen from a concentrator. I take it, it's a problem there too. Are you clear on the causes there? Do you have a lot of incinerators, oil refineries, etc nearby?
If you're that susceptible to poor air quality, I'd steer clear of Boise. While the inversions aren't as bad as SLC, we still get them to some degree or another every single year. It just depends on the year and weather pattern how bad they get, but it seems like about every 5 years we get a significant inversion that lasts anywhere from 3-6 weeks. This last winter we had one last almost a month, clear out, and then a mini-inversion come back for another week or so later in the winter.

Moreover, during late July - August we get a lot of haze and smoke from wildfires. Often it can be so bad you can't see very far off in the distance; for instance, this past Thursday I couldn't see the foothills from downtown. Typically we get smoke from wildfires every single year.

I'm not trying to make it seem worse than it is; that's just the reality of it. In general we have pretty good air quality year round, but when it gets bad... it's really bad. Couple that with out particular spring allergens, and I think this can be a tough place for those who have respiratory problems.
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Old 07-19-2014, 04:37 PM
 
Location: The City of Trees
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The long summer nights are one of kind here because we are so close to the Pacific Time Zone. Some of the most beautiful summer sunsets I have seen are here in Boise and SW Idaho. I was up at Table Rock last night but didn't take my camera with me and I wish I had.
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Old 07-21-2014, 11:40 AM
 
Location: Boise, ID
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boisefan pretty much summed it up. It isn't as bad as SLC overall from what I've heard, but some days, it isn't far off.

I would definitely NOT move to Boise to get away from SLC air quality problems, especially if that is your only reason for moving.

Last Thursday, forget seeing the foothills from downtown, I couldn't see the church at the end of my street, 1/2 mile away, when I left for work in the morning. It was really bad. Fortunately, although it is still hanging around, it eased off a bit after Thursday and has been less severe.
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Old 07-21-2014, 11:45 AM
 
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Smoke from forest fires, which has created the bad air the past week, exists even out in the broader valley where Twin Falls is located. I drove over to visit friends in Burley yesterday and they also had smokey air. It is one of those things we have to deal with living in the mountain west, no one is immune to forest or rangeland fire smoke. Today is a breath of fresh air after the rain last night and the cooler temps today. The good news is that the firefighters are making headway on containing the fires up in Garden Valley. I went through an entire bottle of eye drops last week.

I used to live in SLC for many years and our inversions are not as severe as theirs, not even close, even when we had that bad inversion back in January. The SL Valley has a lot more heavy industry and traffic and their valley is much more narrow then ours which all attributes to the difference between the two cities. One of my aunts also used to live in Salt Lake and moved to Rigby because the air quality had a negative affect on her health. If a person is sensitive to inversions they might want to do some research before moving to any city in the Mountain West that is in a valley with mountains as a back drop.

Last edited by Syringaloid; 07-21-2014 at 12:05 PM.. Reason: spelling
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Old 07-21-2014, 12:05 PM
 
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I agree with the notion that wildfire smoke is just something you live with from time to time in the summers in the American west. In fact a lot of the smoke we've been getting in the Treasure Valley lately is coming in form Oregon, which isn't unusual. Last year we got a bunch out of the big fires down by Yosemite. If your lungs can't handle forest fire smoke the west in general isn't a great region unless you're located much closer to the coast.
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