Eighth Conference on Atmospheric Chemistry
14th Joint Conference on the Applications of Air Pollution Meteorology with the Air and Waste Management Assoc
AMS Forum: Managing our Physical and Natural Resources: Successes and Challenges


Expanding coverage of the NOAA-EPA Air Quality Forecast Capability

Paula Davidson, NOAA/NWS, Silver Spring, MD; and N. Seaman, J. McQueen, R. Mathur, R. A. Wayland, and K. Carey

Advances in 2005 to the new NOAA-EPA air quality forecast capability (Otte et al, 2005) have resulted from successful testing of expanded ground-level ozone predictions. Experimental testing over Eastern United States from June 1, 2005 has incorporated 1) updates to NOAA's North American Mesoscale (NAM-Eta) Forecast Model with the new NOAH 1-km land-use model and improved cloud and radiation treatments, 2) updated chemical transport model, with pollutant emissions inventory projections to 2005 and PREMAQ/CMAQ version 4.4, and 3) improvements to cloud mixing to reduce systematic overprediction of ground-level ozone. Results have been displayed in both digital and graphical formats available on an experimental basis, on operational NOAA and EPA dataservers , to demonstrate satisfactory achievement of deployment readiness criteria in objective verification, subjective feedback, and production readiness categories. Meeting the test criteria is the basis for proceeding with operational implementation. Concurrently, real-time developmental testing over a coast-to-coast domain began in late June, 2005. Challenges include maintaining prediction accuracy over complex elevated terrain. Early results indicate that the deeper planetary boundary layer often exhibited over the Rockies poses challenges for representing vertical mixing of species near the surface with those already entrained aloft. Improved treatments of mixing and stratospheric tropospheric exchange are required to maintain the same level of accuracy in predictions over the West as has been demonstrated for predictions over Eastern United States, where mixing is predominantly within shallower boundary layers . A focus group of state and local air quality forecasters is working with the NOAA-EPA development team to examine test results over the expanded coast-to-coast domain and identify performance issues to be addressed before beginning experimental (pre-deployment) testing. The development team will continue efforts underway to link the PREMAQ-CMAQ system to the NAM upgrade to WRF-NMM; upgrades to the air quality forecast capability during 2006 will be made in the context of this converted system.

Otte, T. et al, Weather and Forecasting 20:3, 367-384 (2005).

Joint Session 10, Recent advances in real-time forecasts of regional air pollution (Joint with AMS Forum on Managing our Physical and Natural Resources, 14th Joint Conference on the Applications of Air Pollution Meteorology with the A&WMA, and 8th Conference on Atmospheric Chemistry)
Thursday, 2 February 2006, 1:30 PM-4:45 PM, A312

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