1Climate Impacts Group, University of Washington, Seattle, Washington, USA
2Earth and Environmental Science Division, Los Alamos National Laboratory, Los Alamos, New Mexico, USA
3Department of Atmospheric Sciences, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Urbana, Illinois, USA
4Department of Atmospheric Sciences, Texas A&M University, College Station, Texas, USA
Abstract. Simulations using the fully coupled WRF/Chem (Weather Research and Forecasting – Chemistry) model at 3-km resolution in Mexico City have been performed to examine the temperature, relative humidity, wind, and gaseous criteria pollutants (CO, O3, NO, NO2, and NOy) during the MCMA-2006/MILAGRO field campaign. Comparison of the model simulations with measurements from the ground-based air quality monitoring network (RAMA) is presented. The model resolves reasonably well the observed surface temperature, relative humidity and wind speed; however, large discrepancies are identified between the simulated and the observed surface wind direction for wind speeds below 2 m s−1. The simulated chemical species concentrations (CO, O3, NO, NO2, and NOy) compare favorably with the observations. Simulated O3 concentrations agree especially well with the observations. The simulated 10 VOC species compare generally favorably with the observations at the T0 supersite although lower correlation coefficients and larger biases exist for propene, acetone and propanal, isoprene, and c10-aromatics when compared to the other VOC species. The model performs much better during daytime than nighttime for both chemical species and meteorological variables, although the model tends to underestimate daytime temperature and relative humidity. Simulations using combinations of the available PBL schemes and land surface models (LSMs) do not show a preferred combination in reproducing the observations. The simulated meteorological fields under the O3-South, O3-North and EI Norte weather episodes exhibit similar correlation coefficients and biases for the same variable. However, the model performs well for the O3-South episode but inferiorly for the El Norte events in resolving the observed chemical species.