WPO’s Air Quality Program competitively funds NOAA laboratories, academic partners, and commercial industry through grants and cooperative agreements to test and demonstrate new, cutting-edge forecast capabilities with a goal of transitioning to National Weather Service (NWS) air quality forecast operations and improving NOAA's air quality services to the public. Recently funded projects have focused on air quality research and forecasting that are relatively mature (i.e. generally falling in or near the “demonstration” level of technical maturity) and not in the early stages of development or proof-of-concept.
Air quality has improved significantly in recent decades following passage of the Clean Air Act in 1970. There are still many areas of the country, however, exposed to unhealthy levels of air pollutants harming human health and damaging sensitive ecosystems. Notable examples during recent years include smoke emissions due to numerous wildfires over large parts of western North America and high surface ozone episodes during heat waves across the eastern United States. To help the nation mitigate these impacts, NOAA works with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), state and local air quality agencies, academia, and the private sector to provide air quality forecast capabilities for the Nation through the National Air Quality Forecasting Capability (NAQFC).
NWS Air Quality Forecast Guidance for 1-hour average ozone concentration on 1 July 2021
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