Inversion fight needs citizen help

There’s good news on the inversion front, at least for the next few days.

The storm that arrived with snow late Tuesday is expected to continue through tonight. It should scour out the dirty air that has been lingering since shortly after the Dec. 8 snowstorm dumped roughly 8 inches of snow on the Grand Valley, said Joe Ramey with the National Weather Service in Grand Junction.

That means we could see blue skies on Thursday and perhaps even part of Christmas Day, even with a substantial amount of white stuff still on the ground.

But don’t get too accustomed to clear skies. More cold will return to the region, while most of the snow will remain. The result is expected to be another high-pressure inversion in which warm upper air traps colder air at ground level, along with pollution from cars, woodstoves and other sources. The pollutants are expected to gradually begin to build up again over the weekend, Ramey said, leading to the grayish, brown haze that blots out the sun.

All of this points to the importance of following the recommendations of the Mesa County Health Department: Limit your driving as much as possible. And, if you have a woodstove or fireplace, don’t use it on days listed as “no burn” days. An alert from the Health Department on whether it is all right to burn is posted on Page 3A of The Daily Sentinel each day.

If you have an older woodstove and would like to upgrade to a new one that meets Environmental Protection Agency standards for emissions, now may be the time to do it. A program offered by the Health Department and House Resources of Colorado offers grants of up to $3,000, depending on one’s income, to replace a woodstove or fireplace with an EPA approved one. For more details, call 241-2871 or go to the Web site,

This looks like a winter in which inversions may hang around for an extended visit. It is important for all area residents to do what they can to help reduce the pollution inversions trap.


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