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A Dynamically Adapting Weather and Dispersion Model: The Operational Multiscale Environment Model with Grid Adaptivity (OMEGA)

David P. BaconCenter for Atmospheric Physics, Science Applications International Corporation, McLean, Virginia

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Nash’at N. AhmadCenter for Atmospheric Physics, Science Applications International Corporation, McLean, Virginia

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Zafer BoybeyiCenter for Atmospheric Physics, Science Applications International Corporation, McLean, Virginia

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Thomas J. DunnCenter for Atmospheric Physics, Science Applications International Corporation, McLean, Virginia

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Mary S. HallCenter for Atmospheric Physics, Science Applications International Corporation, McLean, Virginia

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Pius C. S. LeeCenter for Atmospheric Physics, Science Applications International Corporation, McLean, Virginia

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R. Ananthakrishna SarmaCenter for Atmospheric Physics, Science Applications International Corporation, McLean, Virginia

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Mark D. TurnerCenter for Atmospheric Physics, Science Applications International Corporation, McLean, Virginia

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Kenneth T. Waight IIIMESO Inc., Troy, New York

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Steve H. YoungMESO Inc., Troy, New York

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Abstract

The Operational Multiscale Environment Model with Grid Adaptivity (OMEGA) and its embedded Atmospheric Dispersion Model is a new atmospheric simulation system for real-time hazard prediction, conceived out of a need to advance the state of the art in numerical weather prediction in order to improve the capability to predict the transport and diffusion of hazardous releases. OMEGA is based upon an unstructured grid that makes possible a continuously varying horizontal grid resolution ranging from 100 km down to 1 km and a vertical resolution from a few tens of meters in the boundary layer to 1 km in the free atmosphere. OMEGA is also naturally scale spanning because its unstructured grid permits the addition of grid elements at any point in space and time. In particular, unstructured grid cells in the horizontal dimension can increase local resolution to better capture topography or the important physical features of the atmospheric circulation and cloud dynamics. This means that OMEGA can readily adapt its grid to stationary surface or terrain features, or to dynamic features in the evolving weather pattern. While adaptive numerical techniques have yet to be extensively applied in atmospheric models, the OMEGA model is the first model to exploit the adaptive nature of an unstructured gridding technique for atmospheric simulation and hence real-time hazard prediction. The purpose of this paper is to provide a detailed description of the OMEGA model, the OMEGA system, and a detailed comparison of OMEGA forecast results with data.

Corresponding author address: Dr. David P. Bacon, Science Applications International Corporation, 1710 Goodridge Dr., P.O. Box 1303, McLean, VA 22102.

Email: David.P.Bacon@saic.com

Abstract

The Operational Multiscale Environment Model with Grid Adaptivity (OMEGA) and its embedded Atmospheric Dispersion Model is a new atmospheric simulation system for real-time hazard prediction, conceived out of a need to advance the state of the art in numerical weather prediction in order to improve the capability to predict the transport and diffusion of hazardous releases. OMEGA is based upon an unstructured grid that makes possible a continuously varying horizontal grid resolution ranging from 100 km down to 1 km and a vertical resolution from a few tens of meters in the boundary layer to 1 km in the free atmosphere. OMEGA is also naturally scale spanning because its unstructured grid permits the addition of grid elements at any point in space and time. In particular, unstructured grid cells in the horizontal dimension can increase local resolution to better capture topography or the important physical features of the atmospheric circulation and cloud dynamics. This means that OMEGA can readily adapt its grid to stationary surface or terrain features, or to dynamic features in the evolving weather pattern. While adaptive numerical techniques have yet to be extensively applied in atmospheric models, the OMEGA model is the first model to exploit the adaptive nature of an unstructured gridding technique for atmospheric simulation and hence real-time hazard prediction. The purpose of this paper is to provide a detailed description of the OMEGA model, the OMEGA system, and a detailed comparison of OMEGA forecast results with data.

Corresponding author address: Dr. David P. Bacon, Science Applications International Corporation, 1710 Goodridge Dr., P.O. Box 1303, McLean, VA 22102.

Email: David.P.Bacon@saic.com

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