1University of California at Berkeley, Department of Chemistry, Berkeley, CA, USA
2University of California at Berkeley, Department of Environmental Science, Policy and Management, Berkeley, CA, USA
3University of California at Berkeley, Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences, Berkeley, CA, USA
*now at: University of East Anglia, School of Environmental Sciences, Norwich, UK
**now at: University of California at Davis, Land, Air and Water Resources Department, Davis, CA, USA
***now at: University of Pennsylvania, Department of Chemistry, Philadelphia, PA, USA
****now at: Harvard University, Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences, Cambridge, MA, USA
Abstract. Day-of-week patterns in human activities can be used to examine the ways in which differences in primary emissions result in changes in the rates of photochemical reactions, and the production of secondary pollutants. Data from twelve California Air Resources Board monitoring sites in Sacramento, CA, and the downwind Mountain Counties air basin are analyzed to reveal day of week patterns in ozone and its precursors in the summers of 1998–2002. This routine monitoring data is complemented by comprehensive data sets of ozone and nitrogen oxide concentrations and VOC reactivity obtained in the summers of 2001 and 2003 at three sites in the region. Daytime concentrations of nitrogen oxides (NOx) are approximately 35% lower on weekends at all the sites, whereas the VOC reactivity changes by less than 10%. All six sites in the Sacramento Valley have higher 8-h maximum average ozone on the weekend and are more likely to exceed the national standard of 85 ppb on the weekend. In contrast, all the sites in the Mountain Counties are less likely to exceed the federal ozone standard on the weekend. Analysis of the day-of-week trends in odd oxygen show that the weekend effect of ozone within Sacramento is strongly influenced by NO sources close to the monitoring sites. This suggests that ozone measurements from monitoring sites close to highways, including two rural locations, may not be representative of the regional abundance, and lead to underestimates of long term exposure for humans and ecosystems.