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TAQ Instrumentation Sites

New England Temperature Air Quality Pilot Study


  • To quantify the improvements in the forecasting of temperature and air quality in the New England region which results from new and augmented observations and modeling.
  • To assess the benefits of better predictive capabilities to the energy sector.
  • To provide a pathway to operational high-resolution temperature and air quality forecasting.

New Observations

Because air quality and temperature at ground level are strongly influenced by weather conditions just above ground and observations of these conditions are very limited, ETL is providing critical observations aloft in the layer between the ground and about 2 km altitude. The key tools are remote sensors that continually monitor temperature (RASS), winds (wind profilers), and ozone (lidars) in this layer.

ETL operated a network of boundary layer radar wind profilers to provide more detailed observations of the horizontal and vertical distribution of winds, temperature, boundary-layer characteristics, and nighttime pollution transport. Data from this network was made available to operational weather and air quality forecasters as it was collected. These data are also being used to evaluate research and operational mesoscale numerical models.

ETL also deployed two ozone-profiling lidars in the New England region. These lidars were used to assess the impact of upwind ozone and ozone transport on air quality forecast performance and facilitated decisions on the components and density of observations needed for operational air quality systems.

Evaluation and Verification of Model Forecasts

Focusing on meteorological aspects, ETL is assessing the accuracy of model forecasts. Evaluation emphasizes parameters that are the basis for decision-making in the energy industry. This research examines the potential role of regional observing networks in improving local temperature and air quality forecasts and provides quantitative assessment of model performance.

Forecaster Evaluation

Strengthening connections between the operational and research communities, ETL is working with operational forecasters to assess the benefits of the new observations and modeling in the operational weather forecasting environment. Training held prior to the experimental period introduced new products, while evaluation forms provided in conjunction with prototype operational data allows forecasters to provide feedback on these new products.