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What Is an Inversion and How Does It Affect Air Quality?

An inversion represents a layer of the atmosphere in which the temperature gets warmer the higher you go. A variety of conditions can cause inversions, but most common in Arizona is the nighttime inversion. This is when a layer of cooler air is trapped near the ground by a layer of warm air above the surface. When the air cannot rise, pollution accumulates near the ground, leading to higher pollutant concentrations | Learn More about Inversions >

To avoid health risks associated with poor air quality related to Particle Pollution:

  • Choose areas away from busy streets for children and the elderly to walk, exercise or play.
  • Subscribe to ADEQ Daily Air Quality Forecasts and follow the recommended health statement
  • Limit outdoor activity when there is smoke and dust in the air
  • Implement policies and education programs to limit vehicle idling when possible
  • Do not burn wood on No Burn days.
  • Eliminate the use of leaf blowers and gasoline-powered equipment during health alerts and high pollution advisory (HPA) days | Learn More about HPAs > 
  • Stabilize loose soils
  • Slow down on dirt roads, carpool and use public transit

Learn more about Particle Pollution | View Fact Sheet >