Atmospheric dispersion calculations are made using the HYSPLIT Particle Dispersion Model for studying the transport and dispersion of air-borne releases from point elevated sources in the Mississippi Gulf coastal region. Simulations are performed separately with three meteorological data sets having different spatial and temporal resolution for a typical summer period in 1–3 June 2006 representing a weak synoptic condition. The first two data are the NCEP global and regional analyses (FNL, EDAS) while the third is a meso-scale simulation generated using the Weather Research and Forecasting model with nested domains at a fine resolution of 4 km. The meso-scale model results show significant temporal and spatial variations in the meteorological fields as a result of the combined influences of the land-sea breeze circulation, the large scale flow field and diurnal alteration in the mixing depth across the coast. The model predicted SO2 concentrations showed that the trajectory and the concentration distribution varied in the three cases of input data. While calculations with FNL data show an overall higher correlation, there is a significant positive bias during daytime and negative bias during night time. Calculations with EDAS fields are significantly below the observations during both daytime and night time though plume behavior follows the coastal circulation. The diurnal plume behavior and its distribution are better simulated using the mesoscale WRF meteorological fields in the coastal environment suggesting its suitability for pollution dispersion impact assessment in the local scale. Results of different cases of simulation, comparison with observations, correlation and bias in each case are presented
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