J.1 Recent Performance of the NOAA Air Quality Model for Ozone and Particulate Matter in Urban Environments

Wednesday, 25 January 2017: 12:00 AM
Conference Center: Tahoma 2 (Washington State Convention Center )
Jeff McQueen, NOAA/NWS/NCEP/EMC, College Park, MD; and J. Huang, H. C. Huang, P. Shafran, G. DiMego, P. C. Lee, L. Pan, D. Tong, I. Stajner, S. Upadhayay, and A. Sleinkofer

Operational air quality predictions for the United States (U. S.) are provided by National Air Quality Forecasting Capability (NAQFC). NAQFC provides nationwide operational predictions of ozone and particulate matter. Predictions are produced twice per day (at 06 and 12 UTC cycles) at 12 km resolution and 1 hour time intervals through 48 hours and distributed at http://airquality.weather.gov. The NOAA National Centers for Environmental Prediction (NCEP) operational North American Mesoscale (NAM) 12 km weather predictions is used to drive the Community Multiscale Air Quality (CMAQ) model.  Higher resolution operational NWP models have recently been introduced as part of the NCEP model suite. These include the NAM CONUS Nest (4 km horizontal resolution) and the Fire Weather nest (1.33 km for smaller domains) run four times per day through 60 hours and the High Resolution Rapid Refresh (HRRR, 3 km) run hourly out to 15 hours. This paper will evaluate the performance of higher resolution models for capturing boundary layer and orographic flows important for driving air quality prediction. The NWP models will be evaluated against standard and mesonet measurments averaged for various regions during the summer 2016 with emphasis over urban areas.  Surface ozone and PM observations will be used to identify cases where large NAQFC prediction errors occurred.  The Updated Real-time Mesoscale Analysis (URMA) will also be used for evaluations.  URMA adjusts a background meteorological field to the nearby observations using the two dimensional version of the NCEP variational Global Statistical Interpolation (GSI) assimilation system.  Such diagnostic downscaled meteorological analyses and predictions that account for complex terrain and coastal effects are often used to drive air pollution models on local scales.  Large errors in ozone prediction are often found in California during the summer months as well as urban areas near coastlines while using the operational 12 km NAM CMAQ system.  The presentation overviews the NCEP mesoscale analysis and prediction systems (e.g.: NAM and its high resolution nests, HRRR, RTMA).  An evaluation of meteorological fields important to air quality modeling (eg: near surface winds, temperatures, moisture and boundary layer heights, cloud cover) will be reported on for the NAM, NAM nests and downscaled predictions especially for the Los Angeles basin, NewYork City and Washington, DC.  The meteorological performance will be presented along with errors in the operational NAM-CMAQ system to evaluate the correlation between ozone and PM error and the ability of the mesoscale model to resolve local flows influenced by the complexity of surrounding topography.
- Indicates paper has been withdrawn from meeting
- Indicates an Award Winner