What Was the Strange Smell in Fort Collins Last Week?
Coloradans are used to experiencing all types of unpredictable weather patterns — one day it could be 70 degrees with the sun shining and 24-hours later a storm could roll bringing inches of snow with it.
Last week, the wacky weather caused a unique phenomenon to occur in areas near Old Town and Northwest Fort Collins. Poudre Fire Authority explained that a weather inversion was responsible for causing parts of the town to smell like natural gas.
According to the NWS, weather inversions are where the warmer air that's up high traps the cooler air down below, causing smoke and pollution to get stuck in between. This is why it can result in the smell of natural gas or rotten eggs, in some cases. In normal circumstances, the air on the ground is warmer than the air that's in the upper part of the atmosphere.
Inversions typically happen in the late afternoon/early evenings and can last for several hours.
PFA cautioned residents about the lingering odor but recommended people should only call 911 if the smell was coming directly from their dwelling or business. If the same situation arises again, fire officials say to call the non-emergency line at (970) 419-3273.