The effects of spring and winter blocking on PM10 concentration in Korea

Sug Gyeong Yun, Changhyun Yoo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


Atmospheric blocking is known to be related to locally developed abnormal climate of the Korean Peninsula, such as heat and cold waves. However, little attention has been devoted to the effects of blocking on the fine dust concentration over Korea. In this study, we analyze the connection between the monthly frequency of blocking occurrence and high particulate matter smaller than 10 μm in diameter (PM10) concentration events in Korea. Our analyses are limited to winter (DJF) and spring (MAM) when both the blocking and high PM10 events tend to take place most frequently. During winter, significant and positive correlations are found in the North Pacific, while significantly negative values are seen over Ural-Siberia. A high PM10 concentration tends to be accompanied by negative (positive) pressure anomalies over Siberia (North Pacific). However, while examining atmospheric fields associated with the high PM10 events, we find that the high PM10 events show two different types of atmospheric fields depending on the strength of wind speed over Korea. When the local wind speed over Korea is weaker than normal, the connection with the North Pacific blocking is strengthened, whereas, the connection with the Ural-Siberia blocking is enhanced when the wind speed is stronger than normal. However, to increase the occurrence of the high PM10 events, both types feature a strong meridional pressure gradient caused by a high pressure system forming over Siberia. This is accompanied by a strong upper tropospheric zonal wind from China and Mongolia to Korea.

Original languageEnglish
Article number410
Issue number7
StatePublished - 1 Jul 2019


  • Atmospheric blocking
  • PM concentration in Korea
  • Spring and winter


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