Can Meng1,2, Tianhai Cheng 1, Fangwen Bao3, Xingfa Gu1, Jian Wang4, Xin Zuo1,2, Shuaiyi Shi 1

State Key Laboratory of Remote Sensing Science, Aerospace Information Research Institute, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100094, China
University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049, China
Department of Ocean Sciences and Engineering, Southern University of Science and Technology, Shenzhen 518055, China
Department of Geography, The Ohio State University, Columbus, OH 43210, USA

Received: October 24, 2019
Revised: February 19, 2020
Accepted: February 21, 2020

 Copyright The Author(s). This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 4.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are cited.

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Cite this article:

Meng, C., Cheng, T., Bao, F., Gu, X., Wang, J., Zuo, X. and Shi, S. (2020). The Impact of Meteorological Factors on Fine Particulate Pollution in Northeast China. Aerosol Air Qual. Res.,


  • Wind speed, HPBL and temperature inversion impact PM2.5 in NE China significantly.
  • Harbin: 91.6% pollution days occur when wind < 20 knots, HPBL < 1500 m, TI_T > 8°C.
  • Changchun: 61.7% pollution days occur when wind < 20 knots, HPBL < 600 m.
  • Shenyang: 70.3% pollution days occur when wind < 20 knots, TI_D > 775 m.


Due to biomass burning and coal combustion, heavy fine particulate matter (PM2.5) pollution frequently occurs in Northeast China, threatening the health of more than 117 million inhabitants. Although meteorological conditions have always been considered key factors in the accumulation and dilution of PM2.5 pollution, their exact contribution to particulate pollution in Northeast China is still highly uncertain. Applying multiple regression analysis to observational data, we identify the wind speed, temperature inversion, and height of the planetary boundary layer as the dominant meteorological factors affecting PM2.5 pollution (PM2.5 > 75 µg m–3) in the major cities of Northeast China, with the wind speed and the planetary boundary layer playing the primary roles in Harbin and Shenyang, and Changchun, respectively. Heavy pollution (PM2.5 > 150 µg m–3) in this region typically occurs when the wind speed is less than 20 knots, the planetary boundary layer is below 500 m, and the temperature inversion is greater than 6°C. These results suggest that reducing the PM2.5 pollution requires us to focus not only on anthropogenic emissions but also on special meteorological conditions that can affect the air pollution mechanisms in Northeast China.

Keywords: Fine particulate (PM2.5) pollution; Multiple regression method; Wind speed; Temperature inversion; Planetary boundary layer height.

Aerosol Air Qual. Res. 20:-. 

Impact Factor: 2.735

5-Year Impact Factor: 2.827

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