Evaluation of a seven-year air quality simulation using the Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF)/Community Multiscale Air Quality (CMAQ) models in the eastern United States

AMS Citation:
Zhang, H., G. Chen, J. Hu, S. -H. Chen, C. Wiedinmyer, M. Kleeman, and Q. Ying, 2014: Evaluation of a seven-year air quality simulation using the Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF)/Community Multiscale Air Quality (CMAQ) models in the eastern United States. Science of the Total Environment, 473, 275-285, doi:10.1016/j.scitotenv.2013.11.121.
Date:2014-03-01
Resource Type:article
Title:Evaluation of a seven-year air quality simulation using the Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF)/Community Multiscale Air Quality (CMAQ) models in the eastern United States
Abstract: The performance of the Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF)/Community Multi-scale Air Quality (CMAQ) system in the eastern United States is analyzed based on results from a seven-year modeling study with a 4-km spatial resolution. For 2-m temperature, the monthly averaged mean bias (MB) and gross error (GE) values are generally within the recommended performance criteria, although temperature is over-predicted with MB values up to 2 K. Water vapor at 2-m is well-predicted but significant biases (> 2 g kg⁻¹) were observed in wintertime. Predictions for wind speed are satisfactory but biased towards over-prediction with 0 < MB < 0.5 m s⁻¹ and root mean square error (RMSE) around 1.5 to 2 m s⁻¹. Wind direction, predicted without observation nudging, is not well-reproduced with GE values as large as 50° in summertime. Performance in other months is better with RMSE around 20–30° and MB within ± 10°. O₃ performance meets the EPA criteria of mean normalized bias (MNB) within ± 0.15 and accuracy of unpaired peak (AUP) within 0.2. Normalized gross error (NGE) is mostly below 0.25, lower than the criteria of 0.35. Performance of PM₁₀ is satisfactory with mean fractional bias (MFB) within ± 0.6, but a large under-prediction in springtime was frequently observed. Performance of PM2.5 and its components is mostly within performance goals except for organic carbon (OC), which is universally under-predicted with MFB values as large as − 0.8. The predicted frequency distribution of PM2.5 generally agrees with observations although the predictions are slightly biased towards more frequent high concentrations in most areas. Elemental carbon (EC), nitrate and sulfate concentrations are also well reproduced. The other unresolved PM2.5 components (OTHER) are significantly overestimated by more than a factor of two. No conclusive explanations can be made regarding the possible cause of this universal overestimation, which warrants a follow-up study to better understand this problem.
Peer Review:Refereed
Copyright Information:Copyright 2014 Elsevier.
OpenSky citable URL: ark:/85065/d7tx3g8d
Publisher's Version: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2013.11.121
Author(s):
  • Hongliang Zhang
  • Gang Chen
  • Jianlin Hu
  • Shu-Hua Chen
  • Christine Wiedinmyer - NCAR/UCAR
  • Michael Kleeman
  • Qi Ying
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