ARL News

Review of national dispersion modeling nearing completion


May 28, 2002

The Office of the Federal Coordinator for Meteorology recently set up a Joint Action Group on the Selection and Evaluation of Atmospheric Transport and Dispersion models (JAG/SEATD). Three ARL staff are taking part – John Irwin (from Research Triangle Park, and representing the EPA), Darryl Randerson (from Las Vegas), and Bruce Hicks (Chairing the group). The group includes representatives from all agencies currently involved in air quality and dispersion forecasting. It is charged with recommending ways to select models for use operationally in the post 9/11 emergency response environment. In practice, there are several mainstream dispersion forecasting systems presently in use in the USA. In addition to that within NOAA, there are parallel systems within the Department of Energy and the Department of Defense. All systems have some advantages and some drawbacks. The trick will be to optimize by selecting which aspects of each system are most appropriate for application to the scenarios of current concern. A draft report has been prepared, for disussion at what will likely be the last meeting of the Group – 29/30 May. A final report is due by the end of June.

Contact information: Bruce B Hicks
Phone: (301) 713-0684