Publication Date

Fall 2016

Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Meteorology and Climate Science


Craig Clements


Air Quality, Exposure, Modeling

Subject Areas



A three-year study (1 Jan 07 to 31 Dec 09) was conducted for Los Angeles and Riverside counties to validate current findings on impacts of wildfires on respiratory health. A dataset developed from multiple sources containing daily rates of air pollution (O3, NO2, CO, and PM2.5) and meteorological variables (temperature, dew point, wind speed, and inversion height) was correlated with asthma emergency department (ED) visits. A second correlation was calculated for a modified dataset that excludes all episodes of wildfire events within the study period. The difference in correlations between both datasets was computed. PM2.5 was positively associated with asthma ED visits during Fall 2007 and its correlation differed significantly between the original and modified datasets.

Using CALMET/CALPUFF/WRF from BlueSky’s air modeling framework, the October 2007 wildfires in Southern California were simulated to evaluate and assess the accuracy of PM2.5 concentrations produced by the models. WRF meteorological fields were used as a first guess for input to the CALMET diagnostic meteorological model. This study attempts to improve on the Jackson et al. 2006 study by using a CALMET/WRF hybrid, as WRF is a more physically advanced model than MM5. A sensitivity analysis was performed for the four terrain adjustment schemes. In conclusion, results from this model framework proved to be accurate within 10 µg/m³ on October 24th for all schemes, but varied for other dates. After October 26th, PM2.5 underestimations may have resulted from excluding emissions from San Diego wildfires.