Submitted as: model description paper 26 Oct 2021

Submitted as: model description paper | 26 Oct 2021

Review status: this preprint is currently under review for the journal GMD.

Development and evaluation of an advanced National Air Quality Forecast Capability using the NOAA Global Forecast System version 16

Patrick Campbell1,2, Youhua Tang1,2, Pius Lee1, Barry Baker1,2, Daniel Tong1,2, Rick Saylor1, Ariel Stein1, Jianping Huang3,4, Ho-Chun Huang3,4, Edward Strobach3,4, Jeff McQueen3, Li Pan3,4, Ivanka Stajner3, Jamese Sims5, Jose Tirado-Delgado5,6, Youngsun Jung5, Fanglin Yang3, Tanya Spero7, and Robert Gilliam7 Patrick Campbell et al.
  • 1NOAA Air Resources Laboratory (ARL), College Park, MD, USA
  • 2Center for Spatial Information Science and Systems, George Mason University, Fairfax, VA., USA
  • 3NOAA National Centers for Environmental Prediction (NCEP), College Park, MD, USA
  • 4I.M. Systems Group Inc., Rockville, MD, USA
  • 6Eastern Research Group, Inc (ERG), USA
  • 7U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Research Triangle Park, NC, USA

Abstract. A new dynamical core, known as the Finite Volume Cubed-Sphere (FV3) and developed at both NASA and NOAA, is used in NOAA’s Global Forecast System (GFS) and in limited area models (LAMs) for regional weather and air quality applications. NOAA has also upgraded the operational FV3GFS to version 16 (GFSv16), and includes a number of significant developmental advances to the model configuration, data assimilation, and underlying model physics, particularly for atmospheric composition to weather feedback. Concurrent with the GFSv16 upgrade, we couple the GFSv16 with the Community Multiscale Air Quality (CMAQ) model to form an advanced version of the National Air Quality Forecast Capability (NAQFC) that will continue to protect human and ecosystem health in the U.S. Here we describe the development of the FV3GFSv16 coupling with a “state-of-the-science” CMAQ model version 5.3.1. The GFS-CMAQ coupling is made possible by the seminal version of the NOAA-ARL Atmosphere-Chemistry Coupler (NACC), which became the next operational NAQFC system (i.e., NACC-CMAQ) on July 20, 2021. NACC-CMAQ has a number of scientific advancements that include satellite- based data acquisition technology to improve land cover and soil characteristics, and inline wildfire smoke and dust predictions that are vital to predictions of fine particulate matter (PM2.5) concentrations during hazardous events affecting society, ecosystems, and human health. The GFS-driven NACC-CMAQ has significantly different meteorological and chemical predictions than the previous operational NAQFC, where evaluation of NACC-CMAQ shows generally improved near-surface ozone and PM2.5 predictions and diurnal patterns, both of which are extended to a 72-hour (3-day) forecast with this system.

Patrick Campbell et al.

Status: open (until 26 Dec 2021)

Comment types: AC – author | RC – referee | CC – community | EC – editor | CEC – chief editor | : Report abuse

Patrick Campbell et al.

Patrick Campbell et al.


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Short summary
NOAA's National Air Quality Forecast Capability (NAQFC) continues to protect Americans from the harmful effects of air pollution, while saving billions of dollars per year. Here we describe and evaluate the development of the most advanced version of the NAQFC to-date, which became operational at NOAA on July 20, 2021. The new NAQFC is based on a coupling of NOAA's operational Global Forecast System (GFS) Version 16, with the Community Multiscale Air Quality (CMAQ) model Version 5.3.1.