What Makes A Temperature Inversion?

Tools

By By Steve Pool

SEATTLE - This happens when you have warm air that sits on top of a pool of cold air.

Normally the temperature gets colder as you go higher in altitude. But on cold, calm nights, cold air will settle near the surface since cold air is heavier than warm air.

In the meantime, a lack of winds will prevent the air from mixing. The pattern also usually creates ground fog.

When the sun comes up, it will start to warm the air above the fog layer, creating an inversion -- it's actually warmer in higher altitudes than at the ground.

That helps further trap the cold air, and everything else in it, near the surface -- including pollutants. That's why air quality suffers during inversions and usually leads to burn bans.

Your Photos

YouNews World Series pumpkin (New) World Series pumpkin
Every year the SF Giants are in the play offs it carve a pumpkin in their honer. This year I switched it up and added our opponents logo along with the World Series trophy. I hope to see my pumpkin on tv to share with all baseball fans.
YouNews AR2192 update AR2192 update
Sunspot AR2192 has grown to almost the size of Jupiter in this 2-day comparison. Image on the left was taken Sunday
Oct.19 and the image on the right was taken Tuesday Oct.21.