The effects of large-scale atmospheric fields on the cypress pollen season in Tuscany (Central Italy)
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This research was performed for the purpose of analysing the relationships between large-scale meteorological information, in particular the North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO) index and the Sea Surface Temperature (SST), and the timing and magnitude of the Cupressaceae pollen season in the Pistoia district of Central Italy. The results demonstrated that in specific periods of the year, the NAO index, by partially determining the distribution of the main meteorological variables over the study area, is negatively correlated with the start and the end, as well as the peak day of pollen concentration. Pollen data were also correlated with the SST of the North Atlantic Ocean east of the Azores for the September–December period of the previous year, which is significant for exploring possibilities in terms of predicting the timing and magnitude of the cypress pollen season. The analysis of such meteorological variables and indices could be used to improve the existing forecasting systems of the phenology of the cypress pollen season. Moreover, the possibility of using meteorological information freely available on internet could cut costs and reduce spatial and temporal representativeness limitations relating to weather monitoring in loco.
KeywordsCupressaceae North Atlantic Oscillation Sea Surface Temperature Phenology Allergy
North Atlantic Oscillation
Sea Surface Temperature
Sea Level Pressure
El Niño Southern Oscillation
Main Pollen Season
Peak Pollen Value
The authors wish to thank Marzia Onorari and Maria Paola Domeneghetti ‘Articolazione Funzionale di Aerobiologia-ARPAT, Pistoia’ for providing aerobiological data and Giorgio Bartolini and Francesco Piani for the meteorological data. The study was supported by the MeteoSalute project, Servizio Sanitario Regionale, Tuscany Region.
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