The applications of the WRF-Chem modelling system at CIMH that are currently being focused on are the coupled weather prediction/dispersion model to simulate the release and transport of constituents, especially Saharan dust transport and concentration; and as a coupled weather/dispersion/air quality model with full interaction of chemical species with prediction of particulate matter (PM2.5 and PM10). This will include future applications in the prediction of ozone (O3) and ultraviolet (UV) radiation as well as examining dust radiative forcing and effects on atmospheric precipitation and dynamics. Currently plans are underway to implement other dust forecasting systems as CIMH moves towards becoming the Pan-American Sand and Dust Early Warning Centre. Preliminary results from this study will be presented and compared to other dust forecast models currently used in other regions.
CIMH also houses a high volume aerosol sampler to assess the mass concentration and chemical composition of the Total Suspended Particulates (TSP) and will erect another sampler in the capital city of Bridgetown. This work also complements in situ measurements at Ragged Point, Barbados (oldest dust record since 1965), Martinique, Guadeloupe, French Guiana and Puerto Rico. The goal of this study is to develop a health warning system for the developing countries of the Eastern Caribbean in order to mitigate against adverse health effects by persons most vulnerable.