Weather Inversions

By Amber Smith

The Normal Structure of Temperature vs. Height in the atmosphere:

Picture from The Weather Doctor Site:

What Are Weather Inversions?
  Normally, as you rise in altitude, the temperature decreases due to the changes in air pressure. A Weather inversion (also called a temperature inversion*) is when instead of getting cooler at higher temperatures, it is actually warmer up higher.
~ Where Do Inversions Usually Occur?
  Depending on what kind of inversion it is, they can occur almost anywhere.
~ What Causes Inversions?
  It depends on what type of inversion it is. Check out the different kinds of inversions to find out how each is formed.
  What Are The Different Types of Weather Inversions?
  Radiation Inversions are the most common, then Frontal Inversions. There are also Marine Inversions, Subsidence Inversions, and other more rare types of inversions.
~ What Are The Effects Of Weather Inversions?

Weather Inversions have a variety of effects, as explained in Effects Of Weather Inversions. Some of these effects include the trapping of air pollution and sound waves, and the bending of light.



Background Picture by Amber Smith *Note: Temperature inversion technically refers to whenever the temperature increases with altitude. As can be seen from the figure on the left, this is often happening in the stratosphere and thermosphere. The inversions that we are examining are only the ones that are occurring in the troposphere, where they are more rare. You can find out more by visiting some of the websites found in the Bibliography.