1Cloud Physics and Severe Weather Research Section, Environment Canada, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
2Air Quality Research Division, Science and Technology Branch, Environment Canada, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
3Department of Earth and Space Science and Engineering, York University, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Abstract. Meteorological observations from the BAQS-Met field experiment during the summer months of 2007 were integrated and manually analyzed in order to identify and characterize lake breezes in the southern Great Lakes region of North America, and assess their potential impact on air quality. Lake breezes occurred frequently, with one or more lake breezes identified on 90 % of study days. They affected all parts of the study region, including southwestern Ontario and nearby portions of southeast Lower Michigan and northern Ohio, with lake-breeze fronts occasionally penetrating from 100 km to over 200 km inland. Occurrence rates and penetration distances were found to be higher than previously reported in the literature. This comprehensive depiction of observed lake breezes allows an improved understanding of their influence on the transport, dispersion, and production of pollutants in this region.
The observational analyses were compared with output from subsequent runs of a high-resolution numerical weather prediction model. The model accurately predicted lake breeze occurrence and type in a variety of synoptic wind regimes, but selected cases showed substantial differences in the detailed timing and location of lake-breeze fronts, and with the initiation of deep moist convection. Knowledge of such strengths and weaknesses aids in the interpretation of results from air quality models driven by this meteorological model.