Atmos. Chem. Phys. Discuss., 8, 21037-21088, 2008
© Author(s) 2008. This work is distributed
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This discussion paper has been under review for the journal Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics (ACP). Please refer to the corresponding final paper in ACP.
The impact of weather and atmospheric circulation on O3 and PM10 levels at a mid-latitude site
M. Demuzere1,2, R. M. Trigo2, J. Vila-Guerau de Arellano3, and N. P. M. van Lipzig1
1Earth and environmental Sciences, Celestijnenlaan 200E, 3001 Heverlee (Leuven), Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Belgium
2Department of Geophysics, University of Lisbon, Centro de Geofísica da Universidade de Lisboa Fac. Ciencias, Campo Grande, Ed. C8, Piso 6, 1749-016 LISBOA, Portugal
3Meteorology and Air Quality Section, Wageningen University, Droevendaalsesteeg 4, P.O. Box 47, 6700 AA Wageningen, The Netherlands

Abstract. In spite of the strict EU regulations, concentrations of surface ozone and PM10 often exceed the pollution standards for The Netherlands and Europe. Their concentrations are controlled by (precursor) emissions, social and economic developments and a complex combination of meteorological actors. This study tackles the latter, and provides insight in the meteorological processes that play a role in O3 and PM10 levels in Cabauw (The Netherlands). The relations between meteorological actors and air quality are studied on a~local scale based on observations from Cabauw and are determined by a comprehensive correlation analysis and a multiple regression (MLR) analysis in 2 modes, with and without air quality variables as predictors. Furthermore, the objective Lamb Weather Type (WT) approach based on ECMWF (European Center for Medium-range Weather Forecasting) operational data is used to assess the influence of the large-scale circulation on air quality. Keeping in mind its future use in downscaling future climate scenarios for air quality purposes, special emphasis is given to an appropriate selection of the regressor variables readily available from operational meteorological forecasts or OAGCMs (Ocean-Atmosphere coupled General Circulation Models). The regression models perform satisfactory for both O3 and PM10, with an increased performance when including previous days air quality information. The lamb weather types show a seasonal distinct pattern for high (low) episodes of average O3 and PM10 concentrations, and these are clear related with the meteorology-air quality correlation analysis. Although using a circulation type approach can bring some interesting physical relations forward, our analysis reveals the circulation method is limited in terms of short-term air quality forecast for both O3 and PM10. In summary, it is concluded that the use of a regression model is more promising for short-term downscaling from climate scenarios than the use of a weather type classification approach.

Citation: Demuzere, M., Trigo, R. M., Vila-Guerau de Arellano, J., and van Lipzig, N. P. M.: The impact of weather and atmospheric circulation on O3 and PM10 levels at a mid-latitude site, Atmos. Chem. Phys. Discuss., 8, 21037-21088, doi:10.5194/acpd-8-21037-2008, 2008.
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