Regulatory Science

Exploring the value of TEMPO in assessing pollution transport during upslope flows

Gabriele Pfister, NCAR

The Northern Colorado Front Range Metro area (NFRMA) is in non-attainment for the EPA 8-hour ozone standard (NAAQS). Characterizing and modeling air quality in the NFRMA poses large challenges due to the complex terrain and meteorology as well as the mix of diverse pollution sources including urban sources, power plants, large industrial sources, agricultural activities, oil and gas exploration and also natural sources like wildfires, biogenic VOCs or windblown dust. The transport patterns during upslope events can vary widely in their characteristics and there are still open questions such as how much of the transported pollution is brought back to the NFRMA via return flows or mixed into the free tropospheric westerlies. TEMPO measurements should resolve upslope events and whether the expected vertical resolution of the ozone product would be sufficient to provide information of return flows. They might also allow for a statistical assessment of the impact of upslope pollution transport on remote mountain areas. Such studies would be also of interest for other areas in the U.S. with similar topography, e.g., Salt Lake City and a variety of areas in the Intermountain West.

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