Climate Dynamics

, Volume 43, Issue 9–10, pp 2313–2331 | Cite as

Synoptic weather conditions and aerosol episodes over Indo-Gangetic Plains, India

  • D. G. KaskaoutisEmail author
  • E. E. Houssos
  • D. Goto
  • A. Bartzokas
  • P. T. Nastos
  • P. R. Sinha
  • S. K. Kharol
  • P. G. Kosmopoulos
  • R. P. Singh
  • T. Takemura


The present study focuses on identifying the main atmospheric circulation characteristics associated with aerosol episodes (AEs) over Kanpur, India during the period 2001–2010. In this respect, mean sea level pressure (MSLP) and geopotential height of 700 hPa (Z700) data obtained from the NCEP/NCAR Reanalysis Project were used along with daily Terra-MODIS AOD550 data. The analysis identifies 277 AEs [AOD500 > \( \overline{AOD} \) 500 + 1STDEV (standard deviation)] over Kanpur corresponding to 13.2 % of the available AERONET dataset, which are seasonally distributed as 12.5, 9.1, 14.7 and 18.6 % for winter (Dec–Feb), pre-monsoon (Mar–May), monsoon (Jun–Sep) and post-monsoon (Oct–Nov), respectively. The post-monsoon and winter AEs are mostly related to anthropogenic emissions, in contrast to pre-monsoon and monsoon episodes when a significant component of dust is found. The multivariate statistical methods Factor and Cluster Analysis are applied on the dataset of the AEs days’ Z700 patterns over south Asia, to group them into discrete clusters. Six clusters are identified and for each of them the composite means for MSLP and Z700 as well as their anomalies from the mean 1981–2010 climatology are studied. Furthermore, the spatial distribution of Terra-MODIS AOD550 over Indian sub-continent is examined to identify aerosol hot-spot areas for each cluster, while the SPRINTARS model simulations reveal incapability in reproducing the large anthropogenic AOD, suggesting need of further improvement in model emission inventories. This work is the first performed over India aiming to analyze and group the atmospheric circulation patterns associated with AEs over Indo-Gangetic Plains and to explore the influence of meteorology on the accumulation of aerosols.


Aerosol episodes Factor–cluster analysis Weather clusters Kanpur India 



IIT Kanpur AERONET is operational since January 2001; one of the authors (RPS) took lead to deploy Kanpur AERONET after the joint agreement by IIT Kanpur and NASA. Our sincere thanks to the Kanpur AERONET team and the current PIs (S.N. Tripathi and B.N. Holben) for making the data available. The NCEP/NCAR Reanalysis team is also gratefully acknowledged for providing the meteorological maps. We also acknowledge the MODIS scientists and associated NASA personnel for the production of the data used in this research effort via Giovanni online data system. The SPRINTARS calculations were performed by using National Institute for Environmental Studies (NIES) supercomputer system (NEC SX-8R/128M16). We would also like to thank many developers for MIROC AGCM and SPRINTARS and the two anonymous reviewers for helping us in improving the scientific quality of the work.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • D. G. Kaskaoutis
    • 1
    Email author
  • E. E. Houssos
    • 2
  • D. Goto
    • 3
  • A. Bartzokas
    • 2
  • P. T. Nastos
    • 4
  • P. R. Sinha
    • 5
  • S. K. Kharol
    • 6
  • P. G. Kosmopoulos
    • 7
  • R. P. Singh
    • 8
  • T. Takemura
    • 9
  1. 1.Department of Physics, School of Natural SciencesShiv Nadar UniversityDadri TehsilIndia
  2. 2.Laboratory of Meteorology, Department of PhysicsUniversity of IoanninaIoanninaGreece
  3. 3.National Institute for Environmental Studies (NIES)TsukubaJapan
  4. 4.Laboratory of Climatology and Atmospheric Environment, Faculty of Geology and GeoenvironmentUniversity of AthensZografouGreece
  5. 5.National Balloon FacilityTata Institute of Fundamental ResearchHyderabadIndia
  6. 6.Department of Physics and Atmospheric ScienceDalhousie UniversityHalifaxCanada
  7. 7.Institute for Environmental Research and Sustainable DevelopmentNational Observatory of AthensAthensGreece
  8. 8.School of Earth and Environmental Sciences, Schmid College of Science and TechnologyChapman UniversityOrangeUSA
  9. 9.Research Institute for Applied MechanicsKyusyu UniversityFukuokaJapan

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