Stagnant Air Sticking Around In Oregon’s Willamette Valley

Dec 5, 2017

An air stagnation advisory has been issued for the Willamette Valley. The inversion is expected to last through Monday according to officials.

View of downtown Eugene Tuesday. Air quality is rated yellow by LRAPA.
Credit Rachael McDonald

“We have a upper level ridge that’s hovering over the valley, so in a sense it’s acting like a lid where all the warm are is up above and trapping the pollution and the cold air right down here in the valley.”
Jo Niehaus is with Lane Regional Air Protection Agency. She says without any rain in the forecast, the cold, still air stays put.
“But during this inversion period, that pollution is going to collect and settle right here at the ground level where most people breath and it may create some high pollution levels and remind people of what they may have experienced over the summer with the wildfire smoke,” says Niehaus.
The poor air quality could trigger health problems for those with respiratory conditions, pregnant women, the very young, and elderly. Niehaus advises those who depend on wood-burning for heat to make sure to burn clean. That means using well-seasoned dry wood and opening dampers so fires have a lot of oxygen.