The Australian Air Quality Forecasting System: Modelling of a Severe Smoke Event in Melbourne, Australia
The AAQFS currently issues twice daily 24–36 hour numerical air quality forecast for the Melbourne and Sydney regions for Victoria EPA and NSW EPA in time to provide reference and guidance for air quality forecasting. One of the potential usages of the AAQFS is to provide guidance in the management of prescribed burns and in alerting the public of smoke impacts on air quality.
On 11 January 2000, Melbourne experienced the worst visibility episode since 1983 due to thick smoke from the King Island and Winchelsea bushfires. A series of the AAQFS simulations were carried out to model the severe smoke event and determine the sensitivity to emissions factors, fire size and plume height.
The AAQFS demonstrated that the modelled distribution and transport of smoke plume were qualitatively in good agreement with the observation from the satellite and monitoring stations, with regard to the timing of plume arrival, dissipation, and fumigation. Additional tests showed that the PM10 plume development and magnitude were sensitive to the plume release heights, while they were relatively insensitive to emissions factors and fire size.
KeywordsEmission Factor Fire Size Plume Height Smoke Plume Smoke Episode
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