The Idaho Department of Environmental Quality has forecast a yellow air quality alert for Wednesday, a level that warns of possible health impacts for children, older adults and people with breathing or heart conditions.
Open burning will be banned across Ada County and in cities within Canyon County.
This inversion could stick around at least through Monday, said Dave Luft, air quality manager for DEQ’s Boise Regional Office. For the moment, the agency is tracking conditions day-by-day.
“We’re seeing a little bit of relief in the afternoon,” he said.
Conditions aren’t likely to get worse than yellow, said Dave Decker, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service. Higher alert levels are more often seen in the summer when wildfire smoke clogs parts of Idaho, he said. For example, the area around Moscow in August reached the worst rating on DEQ’s scale due to a number of regional fires.
The inversion has been building slowly. Conditions this past Monday crept just slightly into the yellow range, Luft said. Tuesday they rose a little higher, prompting Wednesday’s formal alert.
Temperatures are forecast to stay fairly similar for the next few days, with highs in the mid-teens to low 20s. New Year’s Eve could see a low of about 5 degrees, according to NWS.