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M. E. Cope, G. D. Hess, S. Lee, K. Tory, M. Azzi, J. Carras, W. Lilley, P. C. Manins, P. Nelson, L. Ng, K. Puri, N. Wong, S. Walsh, and M. Young


The Australian Air Quality Forecasting System (AAQFS) is the culmination of a 3-yr project to develop a numerical primitive equation system for generating high-resolution (1–5 km) short-term (24–36 h) forecasts for the Australian coastal cities of Melbourne and Sydney. Forecasts are generated 2 times per day for a range of primary and secondary air pollutants, including ozone, nitrogen dioxide, carbon monoxide, sulfur dioxide, and particles that are less than 10 μm in diameter (PM10). A preliminary assessment of system performance has been undertaken using forecasts generated over a 3-month demonstration period. For the priority pollutant ozone it was found that AAQFS achieved a coefficient of determination of 0.65 and 0.57 for forecasts of peak daily 1-h concentration in Melbourne and Sydney, respectively. The probability of detection and false-alarm rate were 0.71 and 0.55, respectively, for a 60-ppb forecast threshold in Melbourne. A similar level of skill was achieved for Sydney. System performance is also promising for the primary gaseous pollutants. Further development is required before the system can be used to forecast PM10 confidently, with a systematic overprediction of 24-h PM10 concentration occurring during the winter months.

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