HYSPLIT Model Helps Ensure Public Safety During NCAA Final Four Activities

April 2018

The HYSPLIT atmospheric transport and dispersion model developed and maintained by NOAA’s Air Resources Laboratory was once again utilized by forecasters and emergency management personnel to ensure situational awareness and protect public safety during a major event. This time, HYSPLIT supported preparedness for activities in downtown San Antonio from Friday, March 30 through Monday, April 2.

As is typical with such a large event, planning and coordination activities for the National Collegiate Athletic Association’s Final Four weekend began weeks ahead and involved numerous individuals and organizations. In addition to the Semi-Final and National Championship basketball games, the city of San Antonio hosted several festivals each day, bringing an estimated 100,000 people to the area.

HYSPLIT was run on a daily basis by the National Weather Service office in Austin/San Antonio, and the resulting contingency plume forecasts served as a key component of daily situational awareness briefings to a team of emergency and law enforcement personnel, many of whom were deployed to either an Emergency Operations Center or to the Alamodome’s Event Command Center.

ARL is proud to continue its decades-long behind the scenes support to the NWS and emergency personnel nationwide in the proactive development of, and preparation for, incident response scenarios to ensure public health and safety.

Two onsite forecasters talking with colleagues online
Forecasters deployed to the San Antonio Office of Emergency Management conferring with colleagues deployed to the Alamodome Event Command Center via Google Hangout during the National Championship game. Credit: NWS Austin/San Antonio Weather Forecast Office