A wind profiler trajectory tool for air quality transport applications

Allen B. White, Christoph J. Senff, Ann N. Keane, Lisa S. Darby, Irina V. Djalalova, Dominique C. Ruffieux, David E. White, Brent J. Williams, Allen H. Goldstein

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations


Horizontal transport is a key factor in air pollution meteorology. In several recent air quality field campaigns, networks of wind profiling Doppler radars have been deployed to help characterize this important phenomenon. This paper describes a Lagrangian particle trajectory tool developed to take advantage of the hourly wind observations provided by these special profiler networks. The tool uses only the observed wind profiles to calculate trajectory positions and does not involve any model physics or parameterizations. An interpolation scheme is used to determine the wind speed and direction at any given location and altitude along the trajectory. Only the horizontal winds measured by the profilers are included because the type of profiling radars used in this study are unable to resolve synoptic-scale vertical motions. The trajectory tool is applied to a case study from the International Consortium for Research on Transport and Transformation air quality experiment conducted during the summer of 2004 (ICARTT-04). During this international field study, air chemistry observations were collected at Chebogue Point, a coastal station in southwestern Nova Scotia, and factor analysis was used to identify time periods when air pollution from the United States arrived at the site. The profiler trajectories are compared to trajectories produced from numerical model initialization fields. The profiler-based trajectories more accurately reflect changes in the synoptic weather pattern that occurred between operational upper air soundings, thereby providing a more accurate depiction of the horizontal transport responsible for air pollution arriving in Nova Scotia.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numberD23S23
JournalJournal of Geophysical Research Atmospheres
Issue number23
StatePublished - Dec 16 2006
Externally publishedYes


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