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Atmosphere 2018, 9(5), 159; https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos9050159

Influence of Cold Fronts on Variability of Daily Surface O3 over the Houston-Galveston-Brazoria Area in Texas USA during 2003–2016

1
Department of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences, University of Houston, Houston, TX 77204, USA
2
Institute for Climate and Atmospheric Science, University of Houston, Houston, TX 77204, USA
3
Department of Earth System Science, Tsinghua University, Beijing 100084, China
4
Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, 12100 Park 35 Circle, Austin, TX 78753, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 25 March 2018 / Revised: 23 April 2018 / Accepted: 23 April 2018 / Published: 24 April 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Megacities: Air Quality Impacts from Local to Global Scales)
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Abstract

We investigated the impacts of cold fronts on area-wide peak O3 and regional background
O3 mixing ratios on a daily scale over the Houston-Galveston-Brazoria (HGB) area of southeastern
Texas during the O3 seasons (April–October) of 2003–2016. Back trajectories showed that an 18h time
lag existed between arrival of cold fronts in the HGB area and onset of a predominately northerly
flow. Cold fronts showed increasing effects on both peak and background O3 over the HGB area.
Compared to no front days, average peak O3 mixing ratios during the cold front 1st days, cold
front 2+ days, and post frontal days increased 0.7, 5.9, and 9.0 ppbv, respectively while average
background O3 increased 2.9, 6.8, and 8.6 ppbv, respectively. The change in wind direction from
southerly to northerly was the most important factor causing increasing O3 levels. Wind direction
shifts caused variation of other meteorological factors (i.e., wind speed, precipitation, temperature,
cloud cover, and relative humidity) and tended to overshadow their effects on O3 over the HGB area.
On a long-term and large-scale view, cold fronts over the HGB area could be regarded as interruptions
in the cleansing effects of predominantly marine southerly flow from the Gulf of Mexico. View Full-Text
Keywords: HGB metropolitan area; O3 mixing ratio; meteorological factors; cold fronts HGB metropolitan area; O3 mixing ratio; meteorological factors; cold fronts
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Lei, R.; Talbot, R.; Wang, Y.; Wang, S.-C.; Estes, M. Influence of Cold Fronts on Variability of Daily Surface O3 over the Houston-Galveston-Brazoria Area in Texas USA during 2003–2016. Atmosphere 2018, 9, 159.

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