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An inversion in weather terminology is when the temperature actually rises with altitude, instead of decreasing like it usually does.

As the lapse rate can be useful for calculating temperatures at higher altitudes but will be thrown off by inversions, it would be good to know when inversions are likely to happen.

What weather signs would be good indicators of a weather inversion?

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When spraying herbicides a temperature inversion can cause the droplets to be suspended above the ground and transported horizontally causing damage to other crops. This myfarmlife.com web site has the following seven conditions that may indicate a temperature inversion.

  • Clear skies overnight (no clouds)
  • Calm (wind < 3 mph)
  • Closer to sunrise or sunset
  • Dew present
  • Horizontal smoke patterns
  • Dust hanging over a road
  • Ground fog in low-lying areas

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