, Volume 119, Issue 3-4, pp 163-175
Date: 01 Nov 2012

Vertical behaviour and meteorological properties of air masses in the southwest of the Iberian Peninsula (1997–2007)

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Air masses are characterized by physical (temperature, humidity) and chemical (transported gases and aerosols) properties, being associated their arrival to different meteorological scenarios. The knowledge of the air masses over a region is fundamental as complementary information in several atmospheric studies, being the calculation of back-trajectory the most widely used tool whenever air masses are analyzed. A study of air masses has been carried out in southwestern Iberian Peninsula using 5-day kinematic back trajectories computed by the HYSPLIT model at three heights (500, 1,500 and 3,000 m) from 1997 to 2007. The main aims have been to characterize their vertical behaviour and their thermal and humidity properties. Thirteen trajectory clusters have been defined, showing the northerly and westerly clusters a high coupling degree. Seasonal daily variation of potential temperature and specific humidity has been analyzed, obtaining higher differences among clusters in the cold season.

Responsible editor: S. Hong.