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Air Quality Forecasting


Weather & Air Quality Research

Throughout its history, NOAA ARL has served as an interface between the weather elements of NOAA (and its predecessors) and the air quality user community. Much of this activity started as a response to needs associated with the emerging nuclear industry, but the tools developed soon evolved into general air quality and dispersion capabilities.

Today, the air quality aspect of ARL research is by far the dominant theme, but distinctions among the themes remain somewhat vague. For example, the models developed for emergency response purposes are among those used for air quality prediction.

The Air Quality and Dispersion theme is one of the strongest ties that binds ARL's components together. ARL is not heavily involved in the pure science of the business. Instead, ARL focusses on the need to assemble integrated understanding and models from all available sources, to develop the capability to predict changes in air quality that will follow changes in emissions, or that will occur as a result of meteorological factors.

ARL air quality research extends to studies of atmospheric deposition essentially the coupling between the atmospheric pollutant environment and the surface below. ARL now operates the only research-grade deposition monitoring network in the nation: AIRMoN (the Atmospheric Integrated Research Monitoring Network).

Air quality & meteorological forecasting systems

Local and urban dispersion modeling

Regional and longer range plume prediction modeling

Air Quality and deposition field programs

Emergency Response


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