The New England Air Quality Forecasting Pilot Program: Development of an Evaluation Protocol and Performance

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The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration recently sponsored the New England Forecasting Pilot Program to serve as a “test bed” for chemical forecasting by providing all of the elements of a National Air Quality Forecasting System, including the development and implementation of an evaluation protocol. This Pilot Program enlisted three regional-scale air quality models, serving as prototypes, to forecast ozone (O3) concentrations across the northeastern United States during the summer of 2002. A suite of statistical metrics was identified as part of the protocol that facilitated evaluation of both discrete forecasts (observed versus modeled concentrations) and categorical forecasts (observed versus modeled exceedances/nonexceedances) for both the maximum 1-hr (125 ppb) and 8-hr (85 ppb) forecasts produced by each of the models. Implementation of the evaluation protocol took place during a 25-day period (August 5–29), utilizing hourly O3 concentration data obtained from over 450 monitors from the U.S. Environment Protection Agency’s Air Quality System network. Benchmark

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