16.2 How Should the Meteorological Modeling Analysis be Configured?

As with other parts of the air quality modeling system, choices made regarding how to

configure the meteorological modeling can affect the quality and suitability of the air quality

model predictions. Decisions regarding the configuration of complex dynamic meteorological

models can be particularly challenging because of the amount of flexibility available to the user.

The following are recommendations on how to establish the configuration of a meteorological

model for air quality analyses. The focal point in establishing the proper meteorological

modeling configuration should be to get the best possible meteorological model performance.

Selecting a Model Domain: As noted in Section 15, it is expected that most attainment

demonstrations will cover large areas and use nested grids. The outermost grid should capture

all upwind areas that can reasonably be expected to influence local concentrations of ozone,

and/or PM2.5. In terms of selecting an appropriate meteorological modeling domain, one should

extend the grid 3 to 6 cells beyond the domains of each air quality modeling grid to avoid

boundary effects. For example, if 4 km grid cells are to be used in the fine portion of a nested

regional air quality model, then the meteorological fields at this detail would need to extend

12-24 km beyond the bounds of the 4 km grid used for air quality predictions. In terms of grid

resolution, EPA recommends that the dynamic meteorological models use the same grid

resolution as desired for the air quality model applications. In some cases, however, this may

not always be feasible. One possible reason for modeling with meteorology using a different

grid resolution is in the case of unacceptable model performance from the meteorological model

at the desired grid resolution. In other instances, the need for finer resolution may be



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