Defra - Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs.

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Air Quality Forecasting (2009-2014) - AQ1004

This contract is let to manage and develop the UK’s air quality forecasting service for Defra and the Devolved Administrations. The focus of the project is on publication of daily forecasts through the UK-AIR website at and its associated data dissemination services.

A team of forecasters interprets the various data sources to produce the text and numerical Daily Air Quality Index forecasts each day throughout the year, including bank holidays and weekends. Sources of information include:

• The WRF-CMAQ air quality forecasting model which is run across three nested domains (Europe 50km, UK 10km & South East England) for up to 3 days ahead
• European ensemble model pollutant forecasts from MACC, GEMS and other projects
• The SKIRON dust model covering Europe and North Africa
• Latest measured pollutant data from the UK and Europe
• Weather forecast data from the WRF model, together with publicly available weather information from the UK Met Office, BBC and other sources
• Satellite imagery

The project funds technical development of the WRF-CMAQ open source forecasting model so that it can be configured for most efficient and accurate operation to meet the requirements of the contract. Maintenance of the model includes annual updates of the required emissions data from the NAEI and EMEP (when available).

The contract supports provision of summary forecast data to UK-AIR, email, Twitter, RSS data feed and Freephone.
Time-Scale and Cost
From: 2009

To: 2014

Cost: £491,461
Contractor / Funded Organisations
AEA Energy & Environment
Air Pollution              
Air Quality              
Environmental Protection              
Fields of Study
Air Quality