The influence of multi-scale atmospheric circulation on Severe Haze Events in Autumn and Winter in Shanghai, China

Zhao, Z.; Xi, H.; Russo, A.; Du, H.; Gong, Y.; Xiang, J.; Zhou, Z.; Zhang, J.; Li, C.; Zhou, C.
Sustainability 2019, 11, 5979

Download PDF


Severe haze events have many adverse effects on agricultural production and human activity. Haze events are often associated with specific patterns of atmospheric circulation. Therefore, studying the relationship between atmospheric circulation and haze is particularly important for early warning and forecasting of urban haze events. In order to study the relationship between multi-scale atmospheric circulation and severe haze events in autumn and winter in Shanghai, China, we used a T-mode objective classification method to classify autumn and winter atmospheric circulation patterns into six types based on sea level pressure data from 2007 to 2016 in the Shanghai area. For the period between September 2016 and February 2017, we used the Allwine–Whiteman method to classify the local wind in Shanghai into three categories: stagnation, recirculation, and ventilation. By further studying the PM2.5 concentration distribution, visibility distribution, and other meteorological characteristics of each circulation type (CT) and local wind field type, we found that the Shanghai area is most prone to severe haze when exposed to certain circulation patterns (CT1, CT2, and CT4), mainly associated to the cold air activity and the displacement of the high pressure system relative to Shanghai. We also found that the local wind fields in the Shanghai area are dominated by recirculation and stagnation events. These conclusions were further verified by studying a typical pollution process in Shanghai in November 2016 and the pollutant diffusion path using the HYSPLIT (Hybrid Single Particle Lagrangian Integrated Trajectory model) simulation model.