4.4 Interannual variability of surface ozone and associated circulation patterns in the Northeast United States

Tuesday, 21 June 2005: 3:30 PM
South Ballroom (Hilton DeSoto)
David P. Brown, NOAA, Fort Worth, TX; and C. Wake

High incidence of surface ozone in the Northeast United States can have important impacts on human health and activity as a result of diminished air quality. In this study, we examine ozone variations across the Northeast for all seasons as a function of large-scale climatic forcing mechanisms. Daily 1-hour and 8-hour ozone measurements from sites throughout the region are examined alongside meteorological data, include maximum, minimum, and mean temperature, precipitation, wind speed and direction, and sea level pressure. We identify extremes in ozone variability (e.g., number of days ozone concentrations exceed 100 ppb), and correlate the variations with surface climate conditions as well as indices of large-scale forcing mechanisms such as the North Atlantic Oscillation and Bermuda High Index. Circulation anomalies associated with extreme ozone events are also investigated with the use of NCAR Reanalysis datasets and an existing weather typing scheme for New England. The results of this study suggest the possible influence of seasonal climate forcing mechanisms on ozone variability across the Northeast United States, and provide a framework for the investigation of climate controls on other criteria pollutants.
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