TJ11.4 Operational Air Quality Forecasting in Canada: Status and Future Plans

Tuesday, 12 January 2016: 11:45 AM
Room 243 ( New Orleans Ernest N. Morial Convention Center)
Radenko Pavlovic, EC, Dorval, QC, Canada; and S. Cousineau, S. Menard, M. D. Moran, and S. Gravel

Environment Canada's Canadian Meteorological Centre Operations (CMCO) runs a number of air quality (AQ)-related systems that revolve around the Regional Air Quality Deterministic Prediction System (RAQDPS). At the heart of the RAQDPS is the GEM-MACH model, an on-line coupled meteorology‒chemistry model configured for a North America grid with 10-km horizontal grid spacing and 80 vertical levels. A statistical post-processing model (UMOS-AQ) is applied to RAQDPS hourly forecasts to reduce bias and enhance forecast reliability at point locations. UMOS-AQ outputs provide the primary guidance from which operational meteorologists generate public Air Quality Health Index (AQHI) forecasts for Canada. A supplementary North American air quality forecast system with near-real-time wildfire emissions, named FireWork, has been run experimentally by CMCO since 2014. Different products from this system, such as wildfire-influenced AQHI forecasts, are provided to the operational AQ forecasters in order to obtain improved overall AQ forecasts and to notify the public of the smoke coming from wildfires.

The CMCO's AQ-related systems also benefit from several support systems, including the VAQUM (Verification for Air QUality Models) system, which is used to evaluate the performance of AQ forecasts produced by various models. Another system, the Regional Deterministic Air Quality Analysis (RDAQA) system, has been connected to the RAQDPS since February 2013. Operational RDAQA hourly surface objective analyses are now available for O3, PM2.5, NO2, PM10, SO2 and AQHI (derived product). As of June 2015, the RDAQA was also connected to FireWork (RDAQA-FW), allowing additional wildfire-influenced surface analyses for PM2.5 and PM10 to be generated. This presentation will give an overview of the various components of EC's operational AQ forecasts, including performance analyses and a summary of the most recent improvements. Short- and long-term development plans will also be discussed.

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