Meeting information on top of a globe connected to horizontal images of crops, fish and coral, a hurricane, and a flooded road
Credit: NOAA

NOAA Modeling Fair to Feature Two ARL Research Areas

September 2018

NOAA’s first General Modeling Meeting and Fair will take place September 10-12, 2018 at its Center for Weather and Climate Prediction in College Park, Maryland. Organized under the theme “Interdisciplinary Modeling and Partnerships,” this event is an opportunity for the NOAA modeling community and its external partners to connect and share their knowledge regarding modeling and technological capabilities. A cross-line office committee reviewed abstracts submitted in early August to determine the final exhibits for the Fair, which will take place the afternoons of September 10-11.

On 10 September, Dr. Rick Saylor will present an overview of the various modeling systems utilized in conducting atmospheric chemistry research activities at ARL, fittingly titled “Atmospheric Chemistry Modeling at NOAA’s Air Resources Laboratory.” Dr. Saylor’s overview will encompass the full spectrum from process analysis models, to regional- and continental-scale air quality models, to global-scale aerosol modeling, and will include selected examples of results generated by each effort. Pius Lee, Daniel Tong, Barry Baker, and Youhua Tang are major contributors to this exhibit.

Dr. Saylor will feature the Atmospheric Chemistry and Canopy Exchange Simulation System, or ACCESS, a modeling system currently in development at ARL to provide a more physically, chemically and biologically consistent representation of important processes affecting the exchange of trace species between the Earth’s surface and the atmosphere. He will also summarize how ARL’s research into air quality forecasting products helps ensure that air quality forecast models (which are run operationally by NOAA’s National Weather Service, or NWS) provide consistently high-quality forecast products and support air quality planners, managers, and forecasters, as well as the greater research community. The presentation will highlight how ARL led the research, configuration and testing of the National Air Quality Forecasting Capability, an integrated modeling system linking the NWS’s numerical weather prediction model to the Community Multiscale Air Quality model jointly developed by NOAA and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. The final feature involves ARL’s contributions toward creating NOAA’s Next Generation Global Prediction System, or NGGPS, through a project to provide both primary and aerosol precursor emissions to the NGGPS global aerosol model.

On 11 September, ARL’s HYSPLIT group will present “Then and Now: How HYSPLIT Changed the Course of Transport and Dispersion Modeling and Fundamentally Embedded Itself into both Research and Operational Decision-Making.” Coordinated by Dr. Alice Crawford, this exhibit features work by the entire HYSPLIT team. The presentation will summarily guide participants through the 30+ years of development highlights that propelled HYSPLIT into its current position as one of the most extensively used transport and dispersion models in the atmospheric sciences community. Attendees will see for themselves how HYSPLIT evolved from estimating simplified single trajectories based on radiosonde (balloon) observations to the current system capable of accounting for multiple interacting pollutants transported, dispersed and deposited over local to global scales. The team will delve even further, beyond the immediate present, allowing visitors to experience future enhancements already in work including improved source attribution methods, probabilistic output, improved mixing schemes, new graphical displays, and more.

An excerpt from the abstract reads: Absorb the intricacies of HYSPLIT’s design as ARL scientists demonstrate its ability to support a wide range of simulations related to the atmospheric transport and dispersion of pollutants and hazardous materials, as well as the deposition of these materials. Continual improvements by the HYSPLIT development team ensure that the model is sufficiently robust, yet fast enough for use in time sensitive applications both nationally and internationally. NOAA’s NWS is the primary operational user of HYSPLIT, via the National Centers for Environmental Prediction and local Weather Forecast Offices. Examples of core applications include tracking and forecasting the release of hazardous materials (from Mercury to radionuclides), volcanic ash, smoke from wildfires and prescribed burns, and pollutants from various stationary and mobile emission sources. HYSPLIT boasts an extensive user community comprised of academics, regional/state level regulators, national agencies such as the U.S. forest service, and international organizations such as the World Meteorological Organization.