Meteorological data assimilation for air quality modeling with WRF-Chem: Central Mexico case study

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Evelyn Elisa Martínez-Sabari
José Agustín García-Reynoso


Meteorological data assimilation from surface observations (PREPBUFR) and satellite radiance (BUFR) provided by the National Centers for Environmental Prediction (NCEP) is carried out to determine their possible influence on chemical variables concentrations such as ozone (O3), obtained from air quality modeling over central Mexico using the photochemical Weather Research and Forecasting Model with Chemistry (WRF-Chem) during a bad-pollution event due to high O3 concentrations in the Mexico City Metropolitan Area on May 1-4, 2013. For this, the Weather Research and Forecasting Data Assimilation (WRFDA) module was adapted to run with WRF-Chem, and the 3DVAR assimilation technique (which is implemented in the WRFDA) was selected. Six study cases were defined taking into account the combination of the data source type with the assimilation process start times (00:00 and 12:00 UTC). Results indicate that independently of these factors, data assimilation modifies in general the meteorological variables (temperature and wind) initial conditions to obtain a better agreement between model simulations and observations, although statistics results are even higher when the process starts at 12:00 UTC using a combination of PREPBUFR and BUFR data (PB+RD cases). It was also verified that there is an influence on O3 concentrations since the statistical metrics obtained for the different experiments carried out are modified; however, it is insufficient to considerably improve the chemical variable model performance.


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