In January 2013, February 2014, December 2015 and December 2016 to 10 January 2017, 12 persistent heavy aerosol pollution episodes (HPEs) occurred in Beijing, which received special attention from the public. During the HPEs, the precise cause of PM2.5 explosive growth (mass concentration at least doubled in several hours to 10 h) is uncertain. Here, we analyzed and estimated relative contributions of boundary-layer meteorological factors to such growth, using ground and vertical meteorological data. Beijing HPEs are generally characterized by the transport stage (TS), whose aerosol pollution formation is primarily caused by pollutants transported from the south of Beijing, and the cumulative stage (CS), in which the cumulative explosive growth of PM2.5 mass is dominated by stable atmospheric stratification characteristics of southerly slight or calm winds, near-ground anomalous inversion, and moisture accumulation. During the CSs, observed southerly weak winds facilitate local pollutant accumulation by minimizing horizontal pollutant diffusion. Established by TSs, elevated PM2.5 levels scatter more solar radiation back to space to reduce near-ground temperature, which very likely causes anomalous inversion. This surface cooling by PM2.5 decreases near-ground saturation vapor pressure and increases relative humidity significantly; the inversion subsequently reduces vertical turbulent diffusion and boundary-layer height to trap pollutants and accumulate water vapor. Appreciable near-ground moisture accumulation (relative humidity > 80%) would further enhance aerosol hygroscopic growth and accelerate liquid-phase and heterogeneous reactions, in which incompletely quantified chemical mechanisms need more investigation. The positive meteorological feedback noted on PM2.5 mass explains over 70% of cumulative explosive growth.