March 17, 2015 Meeting

The sixth meeting of the 2014-2015 year took place at the National Weather Service office. Our guest speaker was Rodney Cuevas of the Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality.

Meeting Minutes

Call to Order
The sixth NWA/AMS meeting of the 2014-2015 year took place on Tuesday, March 17th at the National Weather Service office in Jackson. The meeting was called to order at 7:08 pm.

A sign-in sheet for attendees was passed around. Eight people were present.

Minutes Approval
There were no minutes to be approved from the February meeting. The corresponding secretary, Daniel Lamb, summarized business from the February meeting.

New Business
The business session began with $30 in dues being collected bringing the treasury balance to $270. Regular membership dues remain $20, and student membership dues are $10.

Because there were new members present, each person in attendance briefly introduced themselves. This segued into an introduction of our guest speaker, Rodney Cuevas of the Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ). Rodney has been MDEQ’s meteorologist since 2006 and has the responsibility of forecasting air quality.

Since passage of the Clean Air Act, each state is mandated by the federal government to monitor and forecast air quality. The pollutants monitored by MDEQ include ozone, carbon monoxide, lead, nitrogen dioxide, particulate matter (PM2.5), and sulfur dioxide. Among these, ozone is typically the only one to reach critical levels from time to time in Mississippi. It is ground level ozone, not stratospheric ozone, which causes air quality issues.

Ozone monitoring is conducted in 8 Mississippi counties, including Hinds. Monitoring season is from March 1st through October 30th, and forecast season is from April 1st through October 31st. Forecasts are currently created for Jackson, the Mississippi coast, and Desoto County/ south Memphis metro. Forecasts may be coming soon for Hattiesburg. The current EPA standard for ozone is an 8 hour average of 75 ppb, though this may soon change to 65-70 ppb. This lowered threshold may result in an increased likelihood for air quality action days in the Jackson metro area, so MDEQ may soon begin issuing air quality alerts for Jackson within the next few years.

The development of ground level ozone is dependent on several processes, including sunlight, dispersion, vertical mixing, and high concentrations of precursors (VOC, nitric oxide, nitrogen dioxide, etc.). Forecasts are created with these factors in mind, along with temperature, humidity, and transport. Diurnally, the greatest concentration of ozone typically exists between 11am and 7pm.

The meeting concluded at approximately 8:07 pm, and it was adjourned.

Minutes submitted by Daniel Lamb, Corresponding Secretary.

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