Wednesday, 13 January 2016
stagnation. Although reduced emissions have decreased the number of ozone exceedance days in Houston in the past decade, there is still year-to-year variability. This variability can't be explained by drastic changes in emissions, but rather by year-to-year variability in large-scale meteorological patterns. This study identifies potential synoptic and global scale meteorological features that influence severity of each ozone season. To limit the influence of decreasing emissions, the number of ozone exceedance events by year are de-trended, and each year is classified as either above or below normal. After this identification, above and below normal seasons are correlated to meteorological variables including temperature, precipitation, and solar radiation with an emphasis on how synoptic-scale patterns are influencing these correlations. These results will aid Houston air quality forecasters in predicting the severity of ozone seasons in future years.
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