The 8th NAME User Workshop

The Met Office welcomed over 60 participants to a hybrid workshop to discuss recent developments and applications of the NAME atmospheric dispersion model.

The workshop was organised by members of the Atmospheric Dispersion and Air Quality group and brought together new and experienced users and model developers of the Met Office's atmospheric dispersion model NAME. The event provides a platform for sharing research and other model-related information, networking and strengthening links. This year the hybrid workshop offered both in-person and online attendance options, with participants from academia, government organisations, research institutions and commercial companies both from within the UK and globally.

The NAME model and user community

The Numerical Atmospheric-Dispersion Modelling Environment (NAME) is a Lagrangian model developed by the Met Office to simulate the dispersion of a wide range of airborne pollutants from dispersion events such as nuclear accidents, volcanic eruptions, chemical accidents, smoke from fires, and airborne animal and plant diseases. In recent years, the NAME user community has seen continuous growth and the first user workshop was established in 2014.

Scientific content of the workshop

During the 2022 workshop, details were presented of collaborative projects and the use of NAME across many applications, organisations and countries. Interdisciplinary sessions covered the latest technical and scientific developments in NAME and applications of the model to air quality, emergency response, biological and radiological dispersion, and volcanic emissions.

Key topics presented at the workshop

The workshop introduced NAME v8.3, including highlighting new features and giving advice for users. Attendees were also given a preview of developments planned for the next version.

Talks were given on the use of NAME in modelling the migration of desert locusts, pollen and volcanic umbrella clouds. Attendees found presentations describing how NAME is used in operational emergency response at different centres particularly interesting.

There were a number of presentations on source terms uncertainty, parameter sensitivity and the use of ensembles. Plans to move to probabilistic volcanic ash forecasts in operations were shared and a talk exploring using statistical emulators was well received. Alongside this, there were studies exploring future use of NWP data with NAME, including higher time resolution input fields and stratospheric meteorological data.

Interactive ‘tech-bar’ sessions again provided an opportunity for attendees to get help and to ask questions on a range of NAME related issues. There were a variety of sessions, designed for both new and experienced users. Demonstrations of a new NAME web interface on the JASMIN computing platform, UKHSA's Probabilistic Accident Consequence Evaluation (PACE) software, a processing tool for generating air quality emissions and the NAME operational interface in the Operations Centre at the Met Office were given. A Q&A session saw attendees posing their questions on NAME to an expert panel.

Discussion sessions took place on air quality, the priorities between higher resolution, increased complexity or the use of ensembles, together with a chance to help shape the future of NAME developments. There were a number of opportunities for networking and informal discussions, including a workshop dinner for in-person attendees.

It is envisaged that the next NAME User Workshop will take place in summer 2023.