ARL Weekly News – July 24, 2020

Recent Events.

ARL Collaborates on Air Quality Flights

ARL is supporting the summer 2020 air quality flights over the Northeast U.S. between Washington, DC-Baltimore and New York City-Long Island Sound. In collaboration with Earth System Research Laboratories (ESRL), University of Maryland, Maryland Department of Environment (MDE), and Northeast States for Coordinated Air Use Management (NESCAUM), research flights were conducted during an extended heat wave in July to capture ozone exceedance events. A Cessna 402 research aircraft was used in this study, measuring meteorology and chemical parameters such as ozone, nitrogen oxides, carbon monoxide, and greenhouse gases.  On July 19, 2020, one example of the measurements and air quality (below) shows the NOAA air quality model successfully predicted the ozone exceedance event over the New York City and Long Island Sound area.  Data will be further analyzed to examine the photochemical ozone production and assess impacts of the COVID-19 on emissions and air quality.

Left: hourly averaged ozone concentrations predicted by the NOAA air quality forecast model over the Northeast US at 4 PM on July 19; Middle: Hourly ozone concentrations measurement at surface air quality monitors over the Northeast on July 19; Right: in-situ ozone concentration measured by the Cessna research aircraft on July 19, 2020.