Numerical Simulations of Persistent Cold-Air Pools in the Uintah Basin, Utah

- Indicates paper has been withdrawn from meeting
- Indicates an Award Winner
Tuesday, 4 February 2014: 2:30 PM
Room C206 (The Georgia World Congress Center )
Erik Neemann, University of Utah, Salt Lake City, UT; and E. T. Crosman and J. D. Horel

High wintertime ozone concentrations in rural areas have become a topic of increased interest in the Western United States. Persistent cold air pools that enable such poor wintertime air quality are typically associated with high pressure aloft, cold surface temperatures, shallow boundary layer depths, light winds, and weak turbulence. Ozone precursors from fossil fuel extraction are trapped within the boundary layer during these episodes and photochemical production of ozone results. This study examines the meteorological processes associated with wintertime ozone episodes in Utah's Uintah Basin and utilizes a high-resolution numerical model to simulate atmospheric conditions during the 2013 Uintah Basin Ozone Study. Weather Research and Forecasting model simulations are used to evaluate key atmospheric features such as stability, planetary boundary layer depth, local wind flow patterns and transport mechanisms, and the influence of strong westerly flow intrusions into the basin. The influence of snow cover on boundary layer stability and local flows will also be discussed.