Preparing meteorological data for CALPUFF modeling is time-intensive due to the several processing steps and large data files involved. Our unique combination of computing infrastructure and professional meteorologists allow BREEZE to process your data in a timely manner.

CALPUFF-Ready Data

CALPUFF utilizes meteorological data from prognostic meteorological models (WRF/MM5) and/or observational data, which necessitates even more expertise and greater processing resources than models such as AERMOD. Preparing meteorological data for CALPUFF modeling is time-intensive due to the several processing steps and large data files involved. Our unique combination of computing infrastructure and professional meteorologists allow BREEZE to process your CALPUFF-ready data in a timely manner.

BREEZE provides a viable, cutting-edge alternative to traditional, less sophisticated meteorological data sets that may produce overly conservative modeling results. This can be done for any number of surface and upper air sites over any domain size and resolution. The resolution of the WRF and MM5 mesoscale meteorological models (12 km, 4 km, or 1 km) accounts for the meteorological changes associated with variations in terrain.

CALMET-Ready Data

If CALMET-ready meteorological data is preferred, the BREEZE Data Team can run WRF or MM5 data through the CALWRF or CALMM5 processor, respectively, and provide the CALMET-ready meteorological data to you. The data will then need to be run through CALMET in order to generate CALPUFF-ready meteorological data. If you are comfortable with processing CALMET-ready meteorological data, then one advantage of pursuing this option rather than CALPUFF-ready is the lower price point, however, if you are not familiar with using CALMET then pursuing CALPUFF-ready meteorological data might be the better option. 

Mesoscale Meteorological Data - WRF / MM5

WRF and MM5 data sets have high resolution to represent meteorological changes associated with variations in terrain and therefore provide precise meteorological parameters. CALPUFF-ready data can be generated using the WRF or MM5 model data. WRF data can be run through the CALWRF processor for use in CALMET, the meteorological preprocessor for CALPUFF. Similarly, MM5 data can be run through the CALMMM5 processor for use in CALMET. When WRF or MM5 data are used, CALPUFF provides more accurate characterization of atmospheric dispersion, which often leads to more realistic modeling results. AERMOD-ready data can also be generated using the WRF or MM5 model data, and often in cases where observational data is not available or where the available data is of poor quality, using WRF or MM5 is a necessary step in order to process site-specific meteorological data.

When processing data using WRF or MM5, BREEZE accounts for the site-specific conditions as well as options for the project domains. Using our infrastructure, expertise, and requisite raw data, we can seamlessly and efficiently create custom WRF and MM5 data sets for practically any location in the world.

Differences Between WRF and MM5

As for the differences between MM5 and WRF, the Weather Research and Forecast model was developed starting in the late 1990s and during the mid-2000s it began to replace MM5 in many applications. WRF was intended to replace MM5, and the developers of MM5 were some of the collaborators on WRF (see this message from the MM5 developers on the move from MM5 to WRF: http://www2.mmm.ucar.edu/mm5/support/consult.html). In most areas of meteorology, such as numerical weather prediction/forecasting, WRF has been the standard for 5-10 years. In air quality, the move to WRF has been slower because of the need to validate the new model for air-quality applications. However, over the last few years, WRF has gained broad acceptance and is slowly but surely taking the place of MM5.

Scientifically, WRF and MM5 have a similar basic framework, but the more modern infrastructure and physics of WRF incorporate more recent advancements. WRF is undergoing continual enhancement, while MM5 has been “frozen” for about 10 years now as the research community has moved its focus for new improvements to WRF.

While the BREEZE Data Team can process meteorological data using either WRF or MM5, and while most regulatory authorities are likely to accept both, our recommendation is WRF because it incorporates the latest scientific advances and is increasingly the standard numerical weather prediction model for air quality applications. Additionally, the cost for MM5 and WRF processing is identical.

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