The relationship between anticyclonic anomalies in northeastern Asia and severe haze in the Beijing–Tianjin–Hebei region
Haze pollution in the Beijing–Tianjin–Hebei (BTH) region has become increasingly more severe and persistent in recent years. To better understand the formation of severe haze and its relationship with anticyclonic anomalies over northeastern Asia (AANA), this research focused on severe haze over the BTH region occurring in December during 2014–2016 and examined the impacts of AANA. The results indicated that local meteorological conditions were conducive to severe haze (such as weaker surface winds, a stronger temperature inversion, a shallower boundary layer, and higher relative humidity) and were all closely related to AANA. During severe haze episodes, AANA remained strong in the middle upper troposphere, generating anomalous southeasterly winds near the surface. This effect not only promoted the accumulation of pollutants due to the unique topographical conditions in the BTH region but also caused warm advection in lower levels, which was the main cause of the formation and development of a temperature inversion layer. As a synoptic-scale circulation, AANA were accompanied by anomalous vertical motions in the surrounding areas, which weakened the meridional circulation over the BTH region. Intrusions of clean air from upper levels to the surface and downward transport of westerly momentum at mid-levels and upper levels were suppressed, resulting in weaker northerly winds near the surface and a shallower boundary layer. The thermally indirect zonal circulation between the BTH region and western Pacific triggered by AANA provided a persistent source of moisture for the BTH region, which strengthened the development of severe haze by promoting the growth of fine particulates. The advance and retreat of AANA often corresponded with the emergence and dissipation of severe haze, illustrating that AANA could be effective forecast indicators for air quality.