Integrated studies of a regional ozone pollution synthetically affected by subtropical high and typhoon system in the Yangtze River Delta region, China
Abstract. Severe high ozone (O3) episodes usually have close relations to synoptic systems. A regional continuous O3 pollution episode was detected over the Yangtze River Delta (YRD) region in China during 7–12 August 2013, in which the O3 concentrations in more than half of the cities exceeded the national air quality standard. The maximum hourly concentration of O3 reached 167.1 ppb. By means of the observational analysis and the numerical simulation, the characteristics and the essential impact factors of the typical regional O3 pollution are comprehensively investigated. The observational analysis shows that the atmospheric subsidence dominated by the western Pacific subtropical high plays a crucial role in the formation of high-level O3. The favorable weather conditions, such as extremely high temperature, low relative humidity and weak wind speed, caused by the abnormally strong subtropical high are responsible for the trapping and the chemical production of O3 in the boundary layer. In addition, when the YRD cities are at the front of Typhoon Utor, the periphery circulation of typhoon system can enhance the downward airflows and cause worse air quality. However, when the typhoon system weakens the subtropical high, the prevailing southeasterly surface wind leads to the mitigation of the O3 pollution. The integrated process rate (IPR) analysis incorporated in the Community Multi-scale Air Quality (CMAQ) model is applied to further illustrate the combined influence of subtropical high and typhoon system in this O3 episode. The results show that the vertical diffusion (VDIF) and the gas-phase chemistry (CHEM) are two major contributors to O3 formation. During the episode, the contributions of VDIF and CHEM to O3 maintain the high values over the YRD region. On 10–12 August, the cities close to the sea are apparently affected by the typhoon system, with the contribution of VDIF increasing to 28.45 ppb h−1 in Shanghai and 19.76 ppb h−1 in Hangzhou. In contrast, the cities far away from the sea can hardly be affected by the periphery circulation of typhoon system. When the typhoon system significantly weakens the subtropical high, the contribution values of all individual processes decrease to a low level in all YRD cities. These results provide an insight for the O3 pollution synthetically impacted by the western Pacific subtropical high and the tropical cyclone system.