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  • Air Pollution Forecasting Maps

    GMU Air Quality ForecastGMU US - PM2.5 Air Quality ForecastGeorge Mason University's air quality forecasting laboratory gives residents the opportunity to visualize tomorrow's air through daily experimental forecasts of concentrations for the Tucson region. These GMU experimental forecasts for PM2.5 and ozone focus on the continental United States, but information spans international and ocean boundaries: the air quality and meteorology of Canada, Mexico, and oceans around us affect us, as our air quality and meteorology affect others. In fact, forecasts over the U.S. cannot be relied upon without coordinated observations from around the world. 

    Understanding the Maps

    GMU TUC PM2.5 Forecast GMU TUC O3 ForecastIn each window, the banner at top gives the date and (Arizona) time in the 24-hour movie loop of forecasted PM2.5 and ozone concentrations. A new 24-hour experimental forecast is posted every day at 5:00 a.m. Arizona time. The color bar at bottom is in gradients, or different concentrations/estimates of air pollutant levels of PM2.5 in micrograms per cubic meter (µg/m3) or parts per billion of ozone per volume of air (ppbV). Forecasted concentrations are plotted every 12 km (about 8 miles) from each other across the map — where we jog, bicycle, live and breathe. White and light blue shades are safe levels of atmospheric PM2.5 and ozone. The tan-colored zones and darker up the color scale into red are unhealthy if exposure lasts 24 hours or more. PDEQ follows this research, and more, for possible future use in the lineup of Arizona public environmental services.

    A note on interdisciplinary research:

    In order to advance the research we’ve just discussed into public service, a team must be assembled that understands the state of science in many different disciplines as well as the services intended to help. In the immediate case, health, atmosphere, soil, plant, computer and remote sensing sciences play large roles, as do public services, education and communications. Team member organizations that have helped make this “window” possible include: NASA, NOAA, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Geological Survey and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; environmental, health and highway departments in Arizona, California, New Mexico, Oregon and Texas; the universities of New Mexico and New Mexico State, Texas at El Paso and Texas Tech, Tulsa, Nebraska, Arizona and Northern Arizona University; and business, Science Policy Consultants.
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    Department of Environmental Quality

    33 N. Stone Ave., Suite 700
    Tucson, AZ 85701

    Phone: (520) 724-7400
    Fax: (520) 838-7432


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