ARL Weekly News – February 19, 2021

Recent Events

Improvements to NAQFC for Intrusion Events Published

A new model led by Youhua Tang of ARL, air quality researchers, NASA, and NOAA NCEP, summarizes a new means to detect and track pollutants from major intrusion events, such as wildfires or dust storms.  Current models cannot captures these sudden incursions of pollutants very accurately.  The new framework incorporates dynamic climatological chemical lateral boundary conditions (CLBCs) from the Goddard Earth Observing System Model, version 5 (GEOS) in the National Air Quality Forecasting System. (NAQFC).

Two case studies from summer 2015 – Saharan dust and Canadian wildfire intrusion events –  were used as case studies to determine model accuracy. Deriving the CLBCs from satellite observations generally  improved the model performance for the wildfire intrusion events and demonstrated how satellite observations of atmospheric composition could be used to capture the air quality impacts of intrusion events with a higher accuracy than ground based monitoring.

NOAA’s NWS  operates the National Air Quality Forecast Capability (NAQFC)]to provide operational air quality forecast guidance for the United States.  The product is currently based on the regional-scale CMAQ model, requires CLBCs for its daily predictions. Due to the NCEP implementation schedules, this updated  library of CLBC’s was not included in the most recent NAQFC implementation, but may be included later in the development process.

Citation: Tang, Y., Bian, H., Tao, Z., Oman, L. D., Tong, D., Lee, P., Campbell, P. C., Baker, B., Lu, C.-H., Pan, L., Wang, J., McQueen, J., and Stajner, I.: Comparison of chemical lateral boundary conditions for air quality predictions over the contiguous United States during pollutant intrusion events, Atmos. Chem. Phys., 21, 2527–2550,, 2021.


Also published

A statistical approach to surface renewal: The virtual chamber concept.

Citation: Hicks, BB, Lichiheb, N, O’Dell, DL, et al. A statistical approach to surface renewal: The virtual chamber concept. Agrosyst Geosci Environ. 2021; 4:e20141.