Evaluating NCEP Global Dust Forecasts using VIIRS Dust Mask Index and VIIRS Aerosol Observations

Wednesday, 17 December 2014
Cheng-Hsuan Lu1, Pubu Ciren2, Shobha Kondragunta2, Jun Wang1 and Partha S Bhattacharjee1, (1)NOAA, Center for Weather and Climate Prediction, National Weather Service, College Park, MD, United States, (2)NESDIS/STAR, College Park, MD, United States
NOAA/NCEP recently implemented NASA’s Goddard Global Ozone Chemistry Aerosol Radiation and Transport model (GOCART) into Global Forecast System (GFS) and the resulting global aerosol forecasting system (called NGAC) has the capability to simulate dust, sulfate, sea salt, and carbonaceous aerosols. A real-time dust-only NGAC has been operational since September 2012. Evaluation of NGAC dust forecast for the summer 2013 utilizes Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite (VIIRS) AOD retrievals and VIIRS dust mask index. While AOD retrievals are quantitative indicating column atmospheric aerosol loading, dust mask index is a qualitative flag indicating the presence of dust and dust intensity in the atmosphere. The combination of dust flag and AOD from VIIRS enables the comparison between NGAC dust AOD versus VIIRS dust AOD. The performance NGAC will be evaluated with these comparisons on a global and regional scales near and downwind of dust sources.