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Air Pollution Meteorology

Air pollution meteorology deals with meteorological processes occurring close to the earth’s surface, including the effects of meteorology on air pollutants and the effects of pollutants on meteorology. Recent research in this area by Prof. Jon Kahl and students has included studies of the adequacy of the popular Pasquill classification scheme for characterizing atmospheric stability, meteorological influences on toxic air pollutants in Mexico, models for describing the long-range transport of atmospheric contaminants, methods of measuring atmospheric particulates using satellites, and methods of characterizing and forecasting wind gusts.

One-minute resolution (ASOSm) wind (green) and gust (blue) observations for one sample hour in Milwaukee, illustrating the effects of Automated Surface Observing System reporting practices on gusts and gust factors. The ASOSm gust factor incorporates observations during the entire hour, while the ASOSh gust factor is derived from observations during a 10-minute period (purple shading), ignoring the majority of the each hour’s measurements.

Sample 48-hr back-trajectories for Milwaukee, Wisconsin arriving at 1800 UTC (noon CT) on January 5th, 2000, illustrating the sensitivity of trajectory model calculations to the arrival elevation.