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Utah Climate Center Can Now Predict Future Inversion

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The Utah Climate Center has created a model to predict inversion in northern Utah up to 30 days in the future.

“The model outputs not precisely how strong the inversion will be, but how likely,” said Simon Wang, assistant director of the Utah Climate Center.

Wang said the predictions come from years of researching inversion patterns.

“We realized through research down 67 year ago that these coming and going episodes of long inversions in northern Utah is trackable. You can trace that,” said Wang. “As meteorologists we and the researchers in the climate center … start to understand what is causing these long episodes of inversions.”

Wang said the inversion information can be useful for hospitals to better predict when more people will be coming in due to bad air conditions. He also said the information can simply be used when planning a trip.

“To make an example, early this December I was debating on whether or not to take a trip during Christmas time … And I did factor in the inversion that we provide and there was a very low probability during the week of Christmas that we won’t have any inversion events, or any major ones,” said Wang. “So that influenced my decision making the trip.”

According to Wang, the phenomenon of inversion in northern Utah is due mostly to natural effects, although human activities also contribute.