Preprints
https://doi.org/10.5194/gmd-2021-429
https://doi.org/10.5194/gmd-2021-429
Submitted as: model evaluation paper
24 Jan 2022
Submitted as: model evaluation paper | 24 Jan 2022
Status: a revised version of this preprint was accepted for the journal GMD and is expected to appear here in due course.

Evaluation of WRF/Chem model (v3.9.1.1) real-time air quality forecasts over the Eastern Mediterranean

George K. Georgiou1, Theodoros Christoudias1, Yiannis Proestos1, Jonilda Kushta1, Michael Pikridas1, Jean Sciare1, Chrysanthos Savvides2, and Jos Lelieveld3,1 George K. Georgiou et al.
  • 1Climate & Atmosphere Research Centre, The Cyprus Institute, Nicosia, Cyprus
  • 2Department of Labour Inspection, Ministry of Labour, Welfare and Social Insurance, Nicosia, Cyprus
  • 3Atmospheric Chemistry Department, Max Planck Institute for Chemistry, Mainz, Germany

Abstract. We describe and evaluate a high-resolution real-time air quality forecast system over the Eastern Mediterranean, based on a regional, on-line coupled atmospheric chemistry and aerosol model. The WRF/Chem model is used to perform daily, 3-day forecasts of regulated pollutants NO2, O3, PM2.5 over the Eastern Mediterranean, with three nested domains with horizontal resolutions of 50 km, 10 km and 2 km, focusing on Cyprus. Natural (dust, sea-salt, biogenic) emissions are calculated online, while anthropogenic emissions are based on the EDGAR-HTAP global emission inventory. A high spatial (1 km) and temporal (hourly) anthropogenic emission inventory is used for the island of Cyprus in the innermost domain. The model skill in forecasting the concentrations of atmospheric pollutants is evaluated using measurements from a network of nine ground stations in Cyprus and compared with the forecast skill of the EU Copernicus Atmosphere Monitoring Service – CAMS. The forecast of surface temperature, pressure, and wind speed is found to be accurate, with minor discrepancies between the modelled and observed 10 m wind speed at mountainous and coastal sites attributed to the limited representation of the complex topography of Cyprus. Compared to CAMS, the WRF/Chem model predicts with higher accuracy the NO2 mixing ratios at the residential site with a normalized mean bias of 7 % during winter and −44 % during summer, whereas the corresponding biases for CAMS are −81 % and −84 %. Due to the high temporal resolution of the anthropogenic emission inventory, the WRF/Chem model captures more accurately the diurnal profiles of NO2 and O3 mixing ratios at the residential site. Background PM2.5 concentrations influenced by long-range transport are overestimated by the WRF/Chem model during winter NMB = 54 % whereas the corresponding NMB for CAMS is 11 %. Our results support the adoption of regional, on-line coupled air quality models over chemical transport models for real-time air quality forecasts.

George K. Georgiou et al.

Status: closed

Comment types: AC – author | RC – referee | CC – community | EC – editor | CEC – chief editor | : Report abuse
  • RC1: 'Comment on gmd-2021-429', Anonymous Referee #1, 15 Feb 2022
  • RC2: 'Comment on gmd-2021-429', Anonymous Referee #2, 26 Feb 2022
  • CEC1: 'Comment on gmd-2021-429', Juan Antonio Añel, 01 Mar 2022
    • AC1: 'Reply on CEC1', George K. Georgiou, 03 Mar 2022
  • RC3: 'Comment on gmd-2021-429', Anonymous Referee #3, 07 Mar 2022
  • AC2: 'Authors' Responses to Anonymous Referee's Comments', George K. Georgiou, 27 Apr 2022

Status: closed

Comment types: AC – author | RC – referee | CC – community | EC – editor | CEC – chief editor | : Report abuse
  • RC1: 'Comment on gmd-2021-429', Anonymous Referee #1, 15 Feb 2022
  • RC2: 'Comment on gmd-2021-429', Anonymous Referee #2, 26 Feb 2022
  • CEC1: 'Comment on gmd-2021-429', Juan Antonio Añel, 01 Mar 2022
    • AC1: 'Reply on CEC1', George K. Georgiou, 03 Mar 2022
  • RC3: 'Comment on gmd-2021-429', Anonymous Referee #3, 07 Mar 2022
  • AC2: 'Authors' Responses to Anonymous Referee's Comments', George K. Georgiou, 27 Apr 2022

George K. Georgiou et al.

George K. Georgiou et al.

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Short summary
We evaluate the skill of the WRF/Chem model to perform high resolution air quality forecasts (including ozone, nitrogen dioxide, and fine particulate matter) over the Eastern Mediterranean, during winter and summer. We compare the forecast output to observational data from background and urban locations and the forecast output from CAMS. WRF/Chem was found to forecast with higher accuracy the concentrations and diurnal profiles of gas-phase pollutants at the urban areas.