Inversion in valley causes grimy skies


Burning offer

There’s never been a better time to upgrade your wood-burning stove.

Homeowners can qualify for up to $3,000 in grants for wood stoves, pellet stoves and fireplace inserts approved by the Environmental Protection Agency.

The exchange program is offered through the Mesa County Health Department and Housing Resources of Colorado.

For information on the program, visit or call 241-2871.

If you’d like to see the hazy skies finally leave the Grand Valley, there are a few things you can do: Drive less, heat your home without burning wood and pray for some wind.

The Grand Valley is experiencing a high-pressure inversion, a condition that occurs when warm upper air traps cold air and contaminants underneath, said Mike Brygger, air-quality specialist for the Mesa County Health Department.

Fog that blanketed the Grand Valley on Thursday and was expected to be present this morning, too, is the result of melting snow turning into vapor and being trapped underneath the inversion, Brygger said. The conditions also contribute to what seems like a painfully slow process of snow melting around the valley.

“A city the size of Grand Junction does create a lot of pollution each day, and an inversion keeps the temperature cool,” Brygger said. “It is a symbiotic relationship.”

A no-burn advisory was issued Thursday and is scheduled through Monday, but that could change if the inversion moves out, Brygger said.

During no-burn periods, wood-stove burning is prohibited inside the city limits of Grand Junction, Delta and Montrose.

According to the National Weather Service in Grand Junction, the forecast calls for clear skies with lows of 11 degrees Fahrenheit tonight. Fog should be cleared out by Saturday morning.


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