Simulating meteorological profiles to study noise propagation from freeways

S. R. Shaffer, H. J S Fernando, N. C. Ovenden, Mohamed Moustaoui, Alex Mahalov

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Forecasts of noise pollution from a highway line segment noise source are obtained from a sound propagation model utilizing effective sound speed profiles derived from a Numerical Weather Prediction (NWP) limited area forecast with 1 km horizontal resolution and near-ground vertical resolution finer than 20 m. Methods for temporal along with horizontal and vertical spatial nesting are demonstrated within the NWP model for maintaining forecast feasibility. It is shown that vertical nesting can improve the prediction of finer structures in near-ground temperature and velocity profiles, such as morning temperature inversions and low level jet-like features. Accurate representation of these features is shown to be important for modeling sound refraction phenomena and for enabling accurate noise assessment. Comparisons are made using the parabolic equation model for predictions with profiles derived from NWP simulations and from field experiment observations during mornings on November 7 and 8, 2006 in Phoenix, Arizona. The challenges faced in simulating accurate meteorological profiles at high resolution for sound propagation applications are highlighted and areas for possible improvement are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)102-114
Number of pages13
JournalApplied Acoustics
StatePublished - May 2015


  • Freeway noise
  • Mesoscale modeling
  • Meteorological profiles

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Acoustics and Ultrasonics


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