Tuesday, 15 January 2002: 9:45 AM
Operational Air Quality Forecasting in Atlantic Canada: An Overview
The long-range transport of ground-level ozone (GLO) and its precursors from the heavily industrialized regions of Eastern North America frequently results in elevated concentrations of this offending pollutant across regions of Atlantic Canada. As a result, the New Brunswick Weather Centre, under the auspices of the Meteorological Service of Canada, issues twice daily Smog forecasts of the expected levels of GLO over the next 48 hours. Expected pollution levels are expressed both numerically and categorically (good, fair, poor, or very poor) and are available in a variety of forms, i.e. text, graphical and electronic, for use by various clients. Available from May through October, this program allows individuals, especially those suffering from heart or respiratory illnesses, to take the necessary steps to protect themselves, their families and the environment.
In addition, a daily winter dispersion forecast pilot project is scheduled to begin in the fall of 2001 in the cities of Saint John and Fredericton. Available from November through April, the objective of this new program is to forecast the occurrence of atmospheric conditions conducive to the accumulation of pollutants, such as those associated with wood smoke or transportation (vehicles), which can be detrimental to human health.
This paper will highlight Environment Canada's Operational Air Quality Prediction Program in Atlantic Canada focusing on the application of meteorology in the preparation of the GLO and Dispersion forecasts and their subsequent value to Atlantic Canadians.