ARL Weekly News – May 11, 2018

A global aerosol forecasting operational model, dubbed as the NOAA Environmental Modeling System (NEMS) and Global Forecast System (GFS) Aerosol Component (NGAC), has been implemented at the National Weather Service (NWS). Pius Lee and Youhua Tang contributed to this fruition of launching the first global aerosol forecast service at NWS by confirming its skill in capturing large amplitude of variability in composition, mass concentration and seasonality. Lee and Tang derived NGAC aerosol concentration fields around the Conterminous US (CONUS) as boundary conditions for the National Air Quality Forecasting Capability so that the strong variability in the aerosol fields intruding into the CONUS is forecast accurately. The NGAC successful implementation has since been written in a journal article that is now accepted for publication: Wang J., P.S. Bhattacharjee, V. Tallapragada, C.-H. Lu, S. Kondragunta, A. da Silva, X. Zhang, S.-P. Chen, S.-W. Wei, A. S. Darmenov, J. McQueen, P. Lee, P. Koner, and A. Harris: The implementation of NEMS GFS Aerosol Component (NGAC) Version 2.0 for global multi-species forecasting at NOAA/NCEP: Part I Model Descriptions, Geophys. Model Dev. 2018.

Barbara Stunder participated in the International Civil Aviation Organization’s (ICAO) Meteorology Panel Working Group on Meteorological Information and Services Development meeting in Washington, DC on May 8 and 9. Ms. Stunder attended the session on release of radioactive material, along with colleagues from the National Weather Service (NWS), Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), and international counterparts. Attendees discussed the issue of guidance regarding flight diversion around a radiological cloud in the event of a nuclear incident; an occurrence for which the ICAO has strict documentation regarding the required meteorological services. New requirements are set to take effect in November 2018 and ARL, NWS, and the FAA collaborated on a paper outlining possible further guidance. During the meeting, Ms. Stunder and several colleagues formed an ad hoc group whose primary focus is to enhance and finalize what is currently a draft Concept of Operations (CONOPS) document utilized by aviation decision-makers. The draft CONOPS document describes information services provided for a release of radioactive material. To finalize the CONOPS, the group plans to incorporate details regarding current efforts, identify gaps, and lay a foundation that will enable and encourage future updates as the science and operational applications mature. Any resulting changes are a subject of interest and will no doubt be monitored at the highest levels of NOAA.

The manuscript “Dispersion Simulations using HYSPLIT for the Sagebrush Tracer Experiment” authored by Fantine Ngan, Ariel Stein, Dennis Finn, and Richard Eckman has been accepted for publication in Atmospheric Environment pending final edits.

Next week Bai Yang will be attending the 33rd American Meteorological Society Conference on Agricultural and Forest Meteorology in Boise, Idaho. He will be presenting a poster entitled “Assessment of Surface Flux Parameterizations in Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF) Using Eddy Covariance Measurements.” It describes Bai’s recent efforts to investigate the air-surface exchange parameterizations in the WRF model using observations from flux stations.

The California Department of Transportation has now issued a call for submissions for a study to quantify the effects of roadside barriers on pollutant dispersion. FRD is talking with Akula Venkatram at the University of California, Riverside on submitting a joint proposal for a tracer study. The general intention of the study is to install samplers perpendicular to a roadway at two nearby locations with and without a roadway barrier and then release tracer from moving vehicles. FRED performed a related roadway-barrier study back in 2008 that has already been used to develop parameterizations in dispersion models, but that study used an imitation barrier constructed at the Idaho National Laboratory and was therefore missing some of the elements present on real roadways.