Application of the weather research and forecasting model for air quality modeling in the San Francisco bay area

Raphael E. Rogers, Aijun Deng, David R. Stauffer, Brian J. Gaudet, Yiqin Jia, Su Tzai Soong, Saffet Tanrikulu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

36 Scopus citations


The Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF) model is evaluated by conducting various sensitivity experiments over central California including the San Francisco Bay Area (SFBA), with the goal of establishing aWRF model configuration to be used by the Bay Area Air Quality Management District(BAAQMD) for its air quality applications. For the two selected cases, a winter particulate matter case and a summer ozone case, WRF solutions are evaluated both quantitatively by comparing the error statistics and qualitatively by analyzing the model-simulated mesoscale features. Model evaluation is also performed for the SFBA, Sacramento Valley, and San Joaquin Valley subregions. The recommendedWRF configuration includes use of the Rapid Radiative Transfer Model/Dudhia (or RRTMG) radiation schemes and the Pleim-Xiu land surface physics, combined with a multiscale four-dimensional data assimilation strategy throughout the simulation period to assimilate the available observations, including standard observations from the World Meteorological Organization and local special observations. With the recommended model configuration, WRF is able to simulate the meteorological variables with reasonable error, with the added value, although relatively small, of assimilating the additional BAAQMD local special observations. Mesoscale features, simulated reasonably well for both cases, include the upslope and downslope flows that occur along the mountains that surround the Central Valley of California, as well as the mesoscale eddies that develop within the valley.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1953-1973
Number of pages21
JournalJournal of Applied Meteorology and Climatology
Issue number9
StatePublished - 2013

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Atmospheric Science


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