Vertical profiles of particle number concentration, potential temperature and relative humidity were measured in the Po Valley using an optical particle counter and a portable meteorological station attached to a tethered balloon. The field campaign covered the period 2006-2008, providing an extended dataset of vertical profiles in both stable and convective boundary-layer conditions. These vertical profiles were used to estimate an experimentally retrieved mixing height (MH).The MM5 meteorological model was also used to simulate the atmospheric dispersion characteristics for the same period, using a variety of different boundary-layer and land surface parameterization schemes (Medium-Range Forecast; high-resolution Blackadar; Gayno-Seaman; and Pleim-Chang). The model simulated MHs were compared among themselves, and then with that measured from balloon soundings. MRF parameterization represented the best compromise solution to simulate increasing MHs in the Po Valley. The MM5 simulations showed the regional character of meteorological forcing on PM ground-concentrations in the Po Valley.
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