ARL Weekly News – February 26, 2021

Recent Events

GMU Air Quality Seminar

Alice Crawford gave a virtual “Air Quality and Health Seminar”  at George Mason University on Monday 22 February, titled  “Evaluating Dispersion Model Ensembles for Emergency Response Applications.”

Mentorship of UA Huntsville Student Balloon Experiment

Alice Crawford and Mark Cohen are working with students in the space hardware club at University of Alabama Huntsville to compare the trajectories of high altitude balloons they have launched with HYSPLIT trajectories. The club currently has two balloons in the air and plans to launch two more over the next couple months. One of the balloons has already traversed the globe twice. The balloon trajectories can be viewed at

Recent HYSPLIT Use Cases

HYSPLIT Use in February for Emergency Management

Several NOAA Weather Forecast Offices (WFOs) used the ARL developed HYSPLIT tool for a wide range of emergency management situations in February 2021. Situations included:

Vessel Fire; Port of Tacoma, Washington. Feb 17, 2021.
The fire began aboard a fish processing vessel carrying chlorine and ammonia. WFO Seattle supported the City of Tacoma Emergency Management during a HAZMAT vessel fire at the Port of Tacoma that began early Thursday, Feb 17, 2021 and lasted several days. Several weather forecasts were provided, and HYSPLIT models were run for ammonia and chlorine.
Seattle Times (external link)

Train Derailment; Cameron, Texas. Feb 23, 2021
An 18 wheeler collided with a train near Cameron, Texas on Feb 23. Train cars carrying coal, petroleum and gas exploded; the fire was labeled a hazmat situation. Local authorities created a half-mile radius evacuation zone near the site. WFO Fort Worth provided HYSPLIT runs and spot forecasts at the request of the local Emergency Managers.

Media coverage of the incident included:

Fox News (external link)
NBC News (external link)
BBC News (external link)

Recycling Plant Fire
A foam recycling plant sparked a five-alarm fire in Richland TX on February 25, 2021. The Fort Worth/Dallas Weather Forecast Office sent HYSPLIT model data and spot forecasts to emergency management. Haltom City Emergency Management provided the coverage maps via social media.

Media coverage included:
Dallas News (external link)
Star Telegram (external link)
NBC DFW (external link)