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Inversions and Summer Ozone: A Recap

If you’ve been paying attention to our Facebook and Instagram stories, you may have noticed that we didn’t have as many red air quality days this past winter, and experienced fewer inversions.

How did we get so lucky?

It’s no secret that Utah experienced many snowstorms this past winter. The frequent winter storms, combined with the actions of individual Utahns, led to fewer red air days and reduced inversions.

As we shift from the season of inversion to that of summer ozone, we wanted to review some facts about summer ozone:

  • Ground- level summer ozone occurs when chemical emissions (released from cars, gas-powered tools, etc.) react with sunlight and heat.
  • Unlike inversions, summer ozone is an invisible, odorless gas.
  • Because of lower temperatures in the mornings and evenings, summer ozone has a daily cycle.

Read that last one again. Because of the short life-cycle of summer ozone, daily actions are more important than ever!

A few daily actions that make a difference include: 

  • Driving less, and walking/biking/skating/etc. more
  • Carpooling
  • Using public transportation
  • Trading in gas-powered lawn and garden tools for electric tools
  • Raising your thermostat by 2 degrees

Have more questions about summer ozone? We’ve got you covered! Explore our website to learn more about inversion, summer ozone, and all things air quality in Utah.