Real-time aerosol data assimilation experiments during the 2014 FRAPPE/DISCOVER-AQ field mission

Tuesday, 16 December 2014: 2:40 PM
R. Bradley Pierce, NOAA/NESDIS, Center for Satellite Application and Research, Madison, WI, United States
The Front Range Air Pollution and Photochemistry Experiment (FRAPPE) and Deriving Information on Surface conditions from Column and Vertically Resolved Observations Relevant to Air Quality (DISCOVER-AQ) field missions were conducted over the Front Range of Colorado during July and August, 2014. Prior to, and during this period, much of the continental US were impacted by smoke from Canadian and Pacific Northwest wildfires, including the Front Range. This study assesses the impact of real-time assimilation of Aerosol Optical Depth (AOD) retrievals from the MODIS instrument on NASA’s Terra and Aqua satellites within the Real-time Air Quality Modeling System (RAQMS) through comparisons of aerosol predictions with observations for two parallel forecasts that were conducted during FRAPPE/DISCOVER-AQ, one with and one without MODIS AOD assimilation. Results of these real-time assimilation experiments demonstrate that assimilation of MODIS AOD improves the prediction of large-scale smoke events such as those that occurred during July and August, 2014. These assimilation experiments help to guide the development of future operational aerosol forecasting systems within the NOAA Environmental Modeling System (NEMS) Global Forecasting System (GFS) Aerosol Component (NGAC) under development at the National Centers for Environmental Prediction (NCEP).