ARL Weekly News – May 29, 2020

Recent Events

HYSPLIT Locust Web App: Mark Cohen and Sonny Zinn gave an invited presentation about ARL’s new Locust Forecasting Web Application to the United States Agency for International Development’s Bureau for Resilience and Food Security. This was initiated by Heather Coll of NOAA Research’s Office of International Activities. The presentation included a description of the app, a live demonstration, and a discussion of possible future steps, including interagency collaboration. Other recent developments with the app include (a) the addition of several new features in response to suggestions from Keith Cressman, chief locust forecasting officer of the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization, (b) the development and addition of a user guide for the app, and (c) formally opening up the app to the public.

Stakeholder workshop: Winston Luke and Xinrong Ren remotely attended a Stakeholders’ Workshop held by the NOAA Aircraft Operation Center (AOC). The workshop consisted of three half-day sessions; AOC program introductions, project presentations from different line offices and labs, and breakout sessions for different aircraft. A presentation entitled “Tracers of Opportunity / Greenhouse Gas / Air Quality Projects” was given at the workshop to introduce ARL’s interest in utilizing AOC aircraft to make airborne measurements. These measurements would be used to evaluate transport and dispersion predictions of the HYSPLIT model, to estimate greenhouse gas emissions from urban areas, and to study smog (ozone) events in urban areas and compare observations with air quality models.

New sensor installed at ARL: Winston Luke installed a carbon dioxide (CO2) sensor on ARL’s rooftop sampling platform at the NOAA Center for Weather and Climate Prediction. This sensor is part of a network of low-cost, low-power sensors deployed by Professor Amy Zanne and her research group at the George Washington University in Washington, D.C. Dr. Zanne is working on projects measuring fine scale variation in CO2 emissions in the Chesapeake Bay along marsh/forest gradients, using small K30 sensors, and is interested in investigating changes in CO2 concentrations resulting from the current economic slowdown imposed by the COVID-19 pandemic both while in shutdown and with eventual reopening across the DC-MD-VA region. The K30 CO2 sensors are manufactured by Senseair AB of Delsbo, Sweden and write data to a removable secure digital card. The combined instrument and data logger package consumes less than 25 watts.

Upcoming Events

HYSPLIT workshop: Extensive preparations continue for the upcoming annual HYSPLIT workshop, June 22-25, 2020. Registration for the workshop opened May 4, 2020, and 500 individuals from around the world registered in less than three days. At that point the registration was closed, but an opportunity to sign up on a waitlist was provided. As in previous years, the workshop is designed to be hands-on, with participants guided in carrying out modeling with the HYSPLIT system on their own computers. This year’s workshop will be entirely online and will be primarily taught by Roland Draxler of ARL (retired), a primary developer of the HYSPLIT model. Current members of ARL’s HYSPLIT team will be answering questions from participants online. ARL’s IT team is also providing substantial support in preparation for the workshop, and will play a key role during the event. In preparation for the workshop, the HYSPLIT model has been updated to version 5.0 and the HYSPLIT tutorial has been updated correspondingly. Detailed pre-workshop instructions were sent out to all registrants earlier this week, with details regarding the installation of required software and other recommended preparatory steps. About 20 percent of the registrants (including some in more distant time zones) have indicated that they will participate by viewing the daily recordings of the workshop that will be provided. Approximately half of the registrants are from the U.S. and half are international, from about 50 different countries around the world. Registrants include those in federal, state and local agencies, students and faculty from universities, and people from non-governmental organizations and companies. The workshop will also include participant contributions, including virtual posters and selected five-minute lightning talks.