Comparison of CMAQ Modeling Study with Discover-AQ 2014 Aircraft Measurements over Colorado

Monday, 15 December 2014: 5:30 PM
Youhua Tang1,2, Li Pan1,2, Pius Lee1, Daniel Tong1,2, Hyun C Kim1,2 and Richard S Artz1, (1)NOAA Air Resources Laboratory, College Park, MD, United States, (2)Cooperative Institute for Climate and Satellites University of Maryland, College Park, MD, United States
NASA and NCAR jointly led a recent multiple platform-based (space, air and ground) measurement intensive to study air quality and to validate satellite data. The Discover-AQ/FRAPPE field experiment took place along the Colorado Front Range in July and August, 2014. The air quality modeling team of the NOAA Air Resources Laboratory was one of the three teams that provided real-time air quality forecasting for the campaign. The U.S. EPA Community Multi-scale Air Quality (CMAQ) Model was used with emission inventories based on the data set used by the NOAA National Air Quality Forecasting Capacity (NAQFC). By analyzing the forecast results calculated using aircraft measurements, it was found that CO emissions tended to be overestimated, while ethane emissions were underestimated. Biogenic VOCs were also underpredicted. Due to their relatively high altitude, ozone concentrations in Denver and the surrounding areas are affected by both local emissions and transported ozone. The modeled ozone was highly dependent on the meteorological predictions over this region. The complex terrain over the Rocky Mountains also contributed to the model uncertainty. This study discussed the causes of model biases, the forecast performance under different meteorology, and results from using different model grid resolutions. Several data assimilation techniques were further tested to improve the “post-analysis” performance of the modeling system for the period.