Original Article

International Journal of Biometeorology

, 51:209

First online:

A synoptic climatology of pollen concentrations during the six warmest months in Sydney, Australia

  • Melissa Anne HartAffiliated withDepartment of Physical Geography, Division of Environmental and Life Sciences, Macquarie UniversityDepartment of Mechanical and Materials Engineering, Portland State University Email author 
  • , Richard de DearAffiliated withDepartment of Physical Geography, Division of Environmental and Life Sciences, Macquarie University
  • , Paul John BeggsAffiliated withDepartment of Physical Geography, Division of Environmental and Life Sciences, Macquarie University

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Abstract

This paper takes an air mass approach to investigating the influence of weather on pollen concentrations in the atmosphere in Sydney, Australia, by producing a synoptic classification of pollen concentrations measured in the Sydney Basin. This synoptic classification has been produced using multivariate statistical techniques including principal component analysis and cluster analysis, to assign days into meteorologically homogenous categories. Surface and upper air meteorological data for warm months (October–March) over a 10-year period were used as input into the statistical analyses. Eleven synoptic categories were found in Sydney during the warm months. Pollen concentrations for the total pollen load and five individual families measured over a 3.5-year period have been investigated for each of the synoptic categories. High pollen concentrations during the warm months in Sydney are found to be influenced by the presence of a region of low surface pressure located to the south of the continent, bringing fast dry westerly gradient winds to Sydney. It is envisaged that these results will be important from a pollen forecast and associated public health perspective.

Keywords

Cluster analysis Pollen Principal component analysis Synoptic climatology Sydney