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© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Submitted as: research article 18 Jun 2020

Submitted as: research article | 18 Jun 2020

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This preprint is currently under review for the journal ACP.

A complex aerosol transport event over Europe during the 2017 Storm Ophelia in CAMS forecast systems: analysis and evaluation

Dimitris Akritidis1, Eleni Katragkou1, Aristeidis K. Georgoulias1, Prodromos Zanis1, Stergios Kartsios1, Johannes Flemming2, Antje Inness2, John Douros3, and Henk Eskes3 Dimitris Akritidis et al.
  • 1Department of Meteorology and Climatology, School of Geology, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Thessaloniki, Greece
  • 2European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF), Reading, UK
  • 3Royal Netherlands Meteorological Institute (KNMI), De Bilt, the Netherlands

Abstract. In mid-October 2017 Storm Ophelia crossed over western coastal Europe, inducing the combined transport of Saharan dust and Iberian biomass burning aerosols over several European areas. In this study we assess the performance of the Copernicus Atmosphere Monitoring Service (CAMS) forecast systems during this complex aerosol transport event, and the potential benefits that data assimilation and regional models could bring. To this end, CAMS global and regional day-1 forecast data are analyzed and compared against observations from passive (MODIS: Moderate resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer aboard Terra and Aqua) and active (CALIOP/CALIPSO: Cloud-Aerosol Lidar with Orthogonal Polarization aboard Cloud-Aerosol Lidar and Infrared Pathfinder Satellite Observations) satellites, and ground-based measurements (EMEP: European Monitoring and Evaluation Programme). The analysis of CAMS global forecast indicates that dust and smoke aerosols, discretely located on the warm and cold front of Ophelia, respectively, are affecting the aerosol atmospheric composition over Europe during the passage of the Storm. The observed MODIS Aerosol Optical Depth (AOD) values are satisfactorily reproduced by CAMS global forecast system, with a shared variance of 60 % and a fractional gross error (fge) of 0.4. The comparison with a CAMS global control simulation not including data assimilation, indicates a significant improvement in the bias due to data assimilation implementation, as the fge decreases by 32 %. The qualitative evaluation of the IFS dominant aerosol type and location against the CALIPSO observations reveals a good agreement. Regarding the footprint on air quality, both CAMS global and regional forecast systems are generally able to reproduce the observed signal of increase in surface particulate matter concentrations, with the regional component performing better in terms of bias and temporal variability. Yet, both products exhibit inconsistencies on the quantitative and temporal representation of the observed surface particulate matter enhancements, stressing the need for further development of the air quality forecast systems, for even more accurate and timely support of citizens and policy-makers.

Dimitris Akritidis et al.

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Dimitris Akritidis et al.

Dimitris Akritidis et al.


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Latest update: 05 Jul 2020
Publications Copernicus
Short summary
Assessment of the Copernicus Atmosphere Monitoring Service (CAMS) global and regional forecasts performance during a complex aerosol transport event over Europe induced by the passage of Storm Ophelia in mid-October 2017. Comparison with satellite observations reveals a satisfactory performance of CAMS global forecast assisted by data assimilation, while comparison with ground-based measurements indicates that CAMS regional system over-performs compared to the global one in terms of air quality.
Assessment of the Copernicus Atmosphere Monitoring Service (CAMS) global and regional forecasts...