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Volume 15, issue 1 | Copyright

Special issue: Uintah Basin Winter Ozone Studies (ACP/AMT inter-journal SI)

Atmos. Chem. Phys., 15, 135-151, 2015
https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-15-135-2015
© Author(s) 2015. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.

Research article 09 Jan 2015

Research article | 09 Jan 2015

Simulations of a cold-air pool associated with elevated wintertime ozone in the Uintah Basin, Utah

E. M. Neemann1, E. T. Crosman1, J. D. Horel1, and L. Avey2 E. M. Neemann et al.
  • 1Department of Atmospheric Sciences, University of Utah, Salt Lake City, Utah, USA
  • 2Utah Division of Air Quality, Salt Lake City, Utah, USA

Abstract. Numerical simulations are used to investigate the meteorological characteristics of the 31 January–6 February 2013 cold-air pool in the Uintah Basin, Utah, and the resulting high ozone concentrations. Flow features affecting cold-air pools and air quality in the Uintah Basin are studied, including the following: penetration of clean air into the basin from across the surrounding mountains, elevated easterlies within the inversion layer, and thermally driven slope and valley flows. The sensitivity of the boundary layer structure to snow cover variations and cloud microphysics are also examined. Snow cover increases boundary layer stability by enhancing the surface albedo, reducing the absorbed solar insolation at the surface, and lowering near-surface air temperatures. Snow cover also increases ozone levels by enhancing solar radiation available for photochemical reactions. Ice-dominant clouds enhance cold-air pool strength compared to liquid-dominant clouds by increasing nocturnal cooling and decreasing longwave cloud forcing.

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This paper uses numerical model simulations to investigate the meteorological characteristics of the 31 January–6 February 2013 cold-air pool (also know as a temperature 'inversion') in the Uintah Basin, Utah, and the resulting high ozone concentrations. A number of factors that influence cold pools and pollutant concentrations in the Uintah Basin are discussed, including snow cover, ice fog, and thermally driven flows.
This paper uses numerical model simulations to investigate the meteorological characteristics of...
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