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Old 03-13-2008, 10:42 PM
 
Location: Loveland, CO
149 posts, read 635,621 times
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I have heard on other forums about inversions happening in my cities which are near the mountains, including Denver. I was wondering if inversions can happen in Ft. Collins as well. If so, are they frequent, how long do they typically last, and how severe are they? I have heard that in places such as Salt Lake City, the inversions can be quite bad, and tend to really diminish the air quality there for significant periods of time. Should I expect the same in Ft. Collins?
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Old 03-14-2008, 02:16 PM
 
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Inversions do happen, typically they last for a day or two, and it occurs a couple of times every winter -- far less frequently than SLC, from what I understand. Fortunately, Fort Collins doesn't have much of its own smog (not enough to make a difference), but at times winds can blow Denver's smog up that way -- you can see the brown cloud follow the foothills up from Denver. A relatively recent source of pollution is oil and gas development to the east of Fort Collins in Weld County, which unfortunately is fairly unregulated and is leading to air quality alerts in many rural areas that never suffered from them before. A southeast wind can blow that right into Fort Collins, combined with an inversion can lower the air quality.

Fortunately for Fort Collins, it's far enough north and west that it takes a fairly special set of circumstances to lead to bad air quality problems. There has to be an inversion condition, which only happens a handful of days per winter, and the winds have to be blowing the right direction (the "normal" direction is west-to-east, which is no problem). So, chances are that bad air days in town will be few and fleeting.
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Old 03-14-2008, 02:36 PM
 
Location: Loveland, CO
149 posts, read 635,621 times
Reputation: 34
Thanks tfox. I've heard both good and bad about the frequency and severity of inversions in the Boise area, but I've also heard that they tend to occur in nearly every city near the mountains. I hadn't heard much about the Ft. Collins area having problems with them, which is why I thought I would ask. Sounds like from what you're saying Ft. Collins has less of an air quality problem than Boise does. Does anyone else have any feedback on this topic as well?
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