A back-trajectory and air mass climatology for the Northern Shenandoah Valley, USA

Hondula, David M., Sitka, Luke, Davis, Robert E., Knight, David B., Gawtry, Stephen D., Deaton, Michael L., Lee, Temple R., Normile, Caroline P. and Stenger, Philip J. (2010) A back-trajectory and air mass climatology for the Northern Shenandoah Valley, USA. International Journal of Climatology, 30 4: 569-581. doi:10.1002/joc.1896

Author Hondula, David M.
Sitka, Luke
Davis, Robert E.
Knight, David B.
Gawtry, Stephen D.
Deaton, Michael L.
Lee, Temple R.
Normile, Caroline P.
Stenger, Philip J.
Title A back-trajectory and air mass climatology for the Northern Shenandoah Valley, USA
Journal name International Journal of Climatology   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0899-8418
Publication date 2010-03
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1002/joc.1896
Volume 30
Issue 4
Start page 569
End page 581
Total pages 13
Place of publication Bognor Regis, West Sussex, United Kingdom
Publisher John Wiley & Sons
Language eng
Formatted abstract
Synoptic-scale air quality climatologies can often be categorized into trajectory methods based on air parcel movement or air mass approaches that are primarily dictated by thermal and moisture conditions. Here, we examine the relationship between these two essentially independent methods of synoptic-scale climate classification: 72-h Hybrid Single Particle Lagrangian Integrated Trajectory (HYSPLIT) model back-trajectories and the Spatial Synoptic Classification (SSC) of air masses for Martinsburg, West Virginia, located at the northern end of the Shenandoah Valley, from 1997 to 2006. Statistically significant differences exist between trajectory groups across the six SSC air mass types within each season and between seasons within each air mass type.

Further examination of the trajectory distributions reveals a high degree of overlap between trajectories associated with different air mass types. In some cases, up to 50% of one air mass's trajectories are statistically closer to the trajectories of a different air mass type. Accordingly, air mass alone cannot be used to identify specific source regions of pollutants. This suggests that, while an air mass classification system can be used to identify general flow patterns, the integration of both thermodynamic and air-flow variables in a synoptic classification should provide information that is not discernible from either method independently. The inclusion of both back-trajectory and air mass information represents the suite of environmental conditions that may enhance or suppress pollutant concentrations in the Shenandoah Valley better than using either measure independently.
Keyword Spatial Synoptic Classification
Air mass
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status Non-UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collection: School of Civil Engineering Publications
Version Filter Type
Citation counts: TR Web of Science Citation Count  Cited 15 times in Thomson Reuters Web of Science Article | Citations
Scopus Citation Count Cited 16 times in Scopus Article | Citations
Google Scholar Search Google Scholar
Created: Mon, 23 Jul 2012, 17:39:31 EST by System User on behalf of School of Civil Engineering