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Clear skies over Manhattan greeted scientists from NOAA and the University of Maryland during a research flight aboard an instrumented Cessna 402 owned and operated by the University Research Foundation on May 2

2020’s Economic Slowdown Provides Opportunity to Investigate Ozone Pollution in the U.S.

When COVID-19 pandemic began in the US, counties and cities across the nation imposed stay at home orders, closed schools or imposed travel restrictions. From March 2020 onward, many Americans hung up car keys and settled into their homes for work and school. Traffic patterns dramatically changed, and previously smog filled vistas became clearer.

Commerce building now part of NOAA, NIST weather and greenhouse gas tracking network

NOAA and NIST have installed a Doppler lidar instrument to an existing weather station on top of the Department of Commerce’s Herbert Clark Hoover Building in Washington, D.C. to measure wind flow and turbulence in the lowest part of the atmosphere for a research project studying greenhouse gas emissions in the Capitol area. 

This image captures the output of the FV3-Chem model forecast for the distribution of the Saharan dust cloud for July 28

New NOAA research model improves dust, air quality forecasts

Running on the newest version of NOAA’s Global Forecast System, or GFS, the FV3-Chem model forecasts the distribution of some primary air pollutants: smoke, soot, organic carbon, sulfate, and large and small particles of dust and sea salt – collectively known as aerosols. Because these aerosols affect the weather, the model also provides weather forecasts.

Observations of near-surface vertical wind profiles and vertical momentum fluxes from VORTEX-SE 2017: Comparisons to Monin–Obukhov similarity theory

Observations of near-surface vertical wind profiles and vertical momentum fluxes obtained from a Doppler lidar and instrumented towers deployed during VORTEX-SE in the spring of 2017 are analyzed. In particular, departures from the predictions of Monin–Obukhov similarity theory (MOST) are documented on thunderstorm days, both in the warm air masses ahead of storms and within the cool outflow of storms, where MOST assumptions (e.g., horizontal homogeneity and a steady state) are least credible. In these regions, it is found that the non-dimensional vertical wind shear near the surface commonly exceeds predictions by MOST. The departures from MOST have implications for the specification of the lower boundary condition in numerical simulations of convective storms. Documenting departures from MOST is a necessary first-step toward improving the lower boundary condition and parameterization of near-surface turbulence (“wall models”) in storm simulations.

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