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Analyzing the basic meteorological aspects of a particulate air pollution episode over the industrial area of Northwestern Greece during the November of 2009

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Pages :
241 - 253

Karagiannidis A.F. Triantafyllou A.G. Karacostas T.S.
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The complex terrain basin of Amyntaio – Ptolemais – Kozani in Western Macedonia of Greece is an area characterized by increased industrial activity and therefore it demands continuous and assiduous environmental monitoring. A prolonged particulate matter air pollution episode was recorded in the area during November 2009. Basic meteorological aspects are analyzed, during the episode period. Daily and hourly PM10 and PM2.5 concentration measurements were used along with surface and lower atmosphere hourly meteorological parameters from 13 measuring stations. The observational data were supported by data produced by the meteorological component of an air pollution model.

The overall analysis showed that the episode was primarily the result of the synoptic setting of the middle and lower troposphere. An Omega blocking pattern which gradually transformed to a high-over-low pattern prevailed over central and southern Europe during the episode’s period. The examination of the vertical wind field in the lower troposphere and appropriate stability indices, revealed a continuous absence of significant convection. The weak horizontal wind field near the surface and the reduced mixing height combined with the lack of synoptic forcing resulted in the trapping of the pollutants in the lower troposphere and the recording of increased airborne particulate matter concentrations. The radical change of the synoptic setting in the first days of December marked the end of the episode.