ARL Weekly News – December 25, 2020

Recent Events

ARL Makes NOAA’s Top Five Research Topics of 2020

To round out the year in review, NOAA Research featured its top five stories of 2020. Topping out the list of most read stories were coverage of wildfire smoke dispersion as well as ARL’s rapid development of the HYSPLIT Locust Swarm Forecasting tool to better predict the movement of locust swarms. In response to the global pandemic, research across the NOAA enterprise has seen renewed interest in the impact of the reduced vehicle, air travel, and manufacturing activities and the effects on Earth’s atmosphere and oceans, including ARL’s use of small planes and ground sites to collect atmospheric samples.

Dust Storm Forecasting Improvements Covered in EOS

The EOS Journal covered work by Daniel Tong to improve model accuracy by using near real time satellite imagery to include dust sources and surface conditions that breed dust storms. Tong, of ARL and George Mason University, and his team analyzed highway fatalities caused by dust storms in the United States and estimated that fatalities range between 13 and 33 annually on roads during dust storms.

A robust early warning system for dust storm could prevent traffic accidents and deaths. Dusts storms are also responsible for higher incidence of Valley fever (Coccidioidomycosis), an infectious disease caused by soil dwelling fungus. The team is working with a citizen science dust watch group that is developing a cell phone app to warn users of dust storms.

Rocheleau, J. (2020), Saving lives by predicting dust storms, Eos, 101, Published on 14 December 2020.


Papers accepted for Publication

Sharma, B., Felix, J.D., Myles, L., Butler, T., Summerlin, S., and Shimizu, M.S. 2021. Wet Deposition Ethanol Concentration at US Atmospheric Integrated Research Monitoring Network (AIRMoN) Sites. Journal of Atmospheric Chemistry (accepted).

Hicks, B.B., Lichiheb, L., O’Dell, D.L., Oetting, J., Eash, N.S., Heuer, M., and Myles, L. 2021. A statistical approach to surface renewal: the virtual chamber concept. Agrosystems, Geosciences & Environment (accepted).