Today’s winter storm could be doing the Basin a big favor by breaking up the current inversion. According to Dr. Seth Lyman of the USU Bingham Research Center, winter ozone levels began building
on Friday afternoon
. Combined with strong inversion conditions, an exceedance of the EPA standard was likely, especially in the central Basin.
On Sunday night
, Dr. Lyman reported that Ouray did reach an ozone concentration of 68 ppb(parts per billion) which is just below the 70 ppb EPA standard. “A strong storm is forecast for [Monday],” explains Lyman, “which will break up the inversion and mix out pollution. A full breakup may not happen Tuesday, so we may still see elevated ozone…but our best guess is that it won’t be higher than what we saw [Sunday].” Lyman says that we can count on high ozone returning at some point thanks to the amount of snow across the Basin but that it is really too early to predict when that may be. It’s hoped that inversion conditions won’t set in again for a while. To view real time Uintah Basin air quality data, visit
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