in Atmospheric and Oceanic Science Letters > Volume 3 Number 6 (16 November 2010) . - p.312-318
An automated procedure employing principal-component analysis and a two-stage cluster analysis was developed to classify the synoptic meteorological conditions prevailing over Urumqi, one of the most heavily polluted cities in the world. Six clusters representing different circulation patterns and air-mass characteristics were classified using surface- and upper-meteorological variables during the heating period from 2001 to 2008, and the relationships between synoptic clusters and air quality were evaluated. The heaviest air-pollution episodes occurred when Urumqi was in either an extremely cold, strong anticyclone or at the front of a migrating cyclone, both with light winds, wet surface air, and relatively dry upper air. Moderate pollution was seen when Urumqi was in the pre-cold/cold frontal passages with lower temperatures and light winds or moderate anticyclone with relatively warmer, drier air. When Urumqi was at the front of a migrating anticyclone or in a weak anticyclone with moderate winds and most warm, dry air, or in the cold/post-cold frontal passages with relatively strongly northerly airflows and precipitation, relatively good air quality could be seen. These results suggest that air pollution in Urumqi is very closely related to the synoptic meteorological conditions, which provides an important basis for not only the prediction and control of urban air-quality problems here but also for the analysis of the differential impacts of weather and pollution on human morbidity.
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