KUWAIT OIL FIRES SMOKE PLUME RECALCULATION
USING NAVY COAMPS METEOROLOGICAL DATA
Roland R. Draxler
Unpublished Internal Report, February 12, 1999
Introduction - In two previous studies, HYSPLIT dispersion model results were used to estimate the ground level exposure to combustion products from the Kuwait Oil Fires. The first evaluation used meteorological fields from NOAA's global model final analysis (FNL) as a basis for the calculation. At that time those fields were available with a grid resolution of 380 km, on mandatory pressure surfaces, and at 6 hour intervals. For selected days the model estimates of the smoke plume limits (optical depth >0.01) were compared with daily visual satellite images. Although in general the model results were satisfactory, there were still many days in which the model and satellite smoke plumes were not in agreement. The disagreement in plume positions was attributed in part to the coarse resolution of the meteorological data. Subsequently, higher resolution data were obtained from the European Center for Medium Range Weather Forecasting (ECMWF). The ECMWF meteorological fields were produced at a resolution of about 100 km, on the model's terrain following surfaces, and also with a temporal resolution of 6 hours. In the second evaluation, recalculation of the smoke plume positions reduced the number of days of disagreement by more than 75% from the initial FNL based calculation. This brief report summarizes the preliminary results of a third evaluation of the smoke plume calculation for a two day period (March 11 and 12 of 1991) using meteorological data from the Navy's COAMPS model (Version 7). The COAMPS data are available hourly, at horizontal resolutions of 45 and 15 km, on the model's terrain following sigma levels (10 are within the first 1500 m). At this time COAMPS output fields are available only from March 10th 1200 UTC through March 15th 1200 UTC. Corresponding smoke plume satellite observations are only available from the 10th through the 12th of this period.
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