2020 Holiday Quiz

Posted by on Wednesday, December 16th, 2020 in Newsletters


What’s Happening Now


2020 Holiday Quiz

It’s that time of the year that involves a jolly bearded fat guy (I’m referring to Santa Claus, not those of us stuck at home during the pandemic), figgy pudding, gift receipts, and virtual gift exchanges (this year only…hopefully). But wait, it just wouldn’t be the holiday season without our annual holiday quiz! So, here’s your chance to answer some modeling-related questions and win a cool prize. What sort of prize, you may ask? How about your choice of a Go BEEST Mode t-shirt or face mask? So, without any further ado, here’s this year’s holiday quiz (no wagering, please):

1. PSD is a common acronym in the world of air quality permitting (and modeling). What does PSD stand for?

  1. Piled Six-feet Deep
  2. Point Source Data
  3. Physical Source Description
  4. Prevention of Significant Depression
  5. Prevention of Significant Deterioration


2. A new version of the AERSURFACE processor was released by EPA earlier this year. What is the version number of this new AERSURFACE?

  1. 00620
  2. 12345
  3. 02060
  4. 20060
  5. Green


3. A new program found within BEEST Suite, called Terrain Files Converter, allows you to convert terrain data into the proper format that can be read by AERMAP. What two terrain file formats can Terrain Files Converter read in and convert?

  1. Bitmap and JPEG
  2. ArcGrid and compressed GeoTIFF
  4. Unix and Windows
  5. Fortran and C#


4. The most recent version of AERMOD (19191 – love those palindromes) includes a new source type that is also a beta option. Which source type is it?

  1. RLINE
  2. FLARE
  4. LINE
  5. POINT


5. AERMOD Wizard allows a modeler to do what tasks effectively, efficiently and quickly?

  1. Download and process ambient monitoring data into AERMOD-ready background data
  2. Calculate secondary PM2.5 and ozone impacts from MERPs (Modeled Emission Rates for Precursors)
  3. Download raw meteorological data and then run AERMET
  4. Vote in the Electoral College
  5. a, b and c
  6. None of the above


Please send your answers to info@providenceoris.com. The first three correct submissions will win their choice of a Go BEEST Mode t-shirt or a Go BEEST Mode face mask. Good luck to everyone!

EPA News

We just received word that Roger Brode of the EPA Air Quality Modeling Group will be retiring at the end of this year. He has been EPA’s Mr. AERMOD for as long as anyone can remember, and his talents will be greatly missed by all of us. Congratulations, Roger, on a well-deserved retirement!

Otherwise, there is nothing else new to report on the EPA front.

Conferences and Workshops

As you might imagine, face to face meetings and conferences are going to be rare, if not non-existent, for the near future. In addition, given the somewhat fluid nature of the times we live in, we encourage you to check organizations’ websites to find out the latest on upcoming conferences and workshops.

Having said that, the Air and Waste Management Association (AWMA) is now accepting abstracts for the 2021 Annual Conference and Exhibition (ACE), scheduled to be held in Orlando, FL June 14‑17, 2021. For more information, go to A&WMA ACE Call for Abstracts.

AWMA is also sponsoring webinars and you can find out more about them at https://www.awma.org/webinars.

The 101st annual meeting of the American Meteorological Society (AMS) will be virtual and is slated for January 10-15, 2021. Click here for more information.

If your company, organization, agency, state, etc. has an upcoming modeling or air quality-related event and you’d like it publicized in Providence/Oris Notes, please send that information to us at info@providenceoris.com, and we’ll be happy to include it.


Simply the Best!

New Price Lists

Effective August 1, 2020 the prices for BEEST Suite and AerScreen for Windows changed to:

  BEEST AerScreen for Windows  
  New Renewal New Renewal  
Single-user $1,450.00 $725.00 $520.00 $260.00  
Multi-user $2,900.00 $1,450.00 $1,040.00 $520.00  


There were no price changes for Professional CalPuff, AERMOD Wizard and SLAB for Windows.


BEEST 12.04 is now out and includes these updates:

  • Full integration of AERSURFACE 20060
  • Ability to split a combined five-year meteorological data set into five individual years of meteorological data
  • Updated Scheduler for running batch files
  • Ability to export MaxDCont Viewer plots to Google Earth


If you missed our webinar on BEEST 12.04 that was presented on October 20, 2020, you can still view it here.

Users in maintenance can download the most recent version of BEEST from Support → Software Updates.

“Go BEEST Mode!” – What? You still don’t have your own “Go BEEST Mode” t-shirt? Don’t worry, we’ve got plenty left – so email your request to info@providenceoris.com and receive your very own “Go BEEST Mode” T-shirt! You’ll be the envy of modelers (and fashionistas) everywhere!

AerScreen for Windows

AerScreen for Windows 4.01 is now out. This version includes an updated Terrain Files Converter that can convert both ArcGrid and compressed GeoTIFF elevation files into AERMAP-ready GeoTIFF files.

Users in maintenance can download the most recent version of AerScreen for Windows from Support → Software Updates.

Professional CalPuff

Our most recent version of Professional CalPuff (4.00) was released August 26, 2016 and is available to all registered users with current maintenance.

Users in maintenance can download the most recent version of Professional CalPuff from Support → Software Updates.


AERMOD Wizard 1.04 is now out and includes these updates:

  • Support for downloading EPA monitoring data published in May 2020
  • Updated methodology for calculating 1-hour NO2 background values
  • Full integration of AERSURFACE 20060
  • Updated guidance documents and tutorials


Users in maintenance can download the most recent version of AERMOD Wizard from Support → Software Updates.

If you have suggestions for an enhancement to any of our modeling software products, please let us know and we’ll do our best to incorporate it into the software ASAP!

Modeling Tip of the Month

Since it is the holiday season, and we’re in a giving mood, we have not one but two modeling tips to share with you.

Tip #1
When you view outputs graphically in BEEST, you can export the results to Excel by clicking the Excel button on the toolbar on the left side of the screen. When you click the Excel button, you will see two options: “Load Values from GRF File” and “Load Values As Displayed”. If you select the second option, the receptors exported to Excel depend on the display options in BEEST. For example, if you only display concentrations above a threshold, only the concentrations above the threshold value will be exported to Excel. If you add a background value to every receptor, the concentrations exported to Excel will include the background value.

Tip #2
BEEST has a pair of useful tools for automatically removing on-screen objects, such as sources, buildings, tanks and receptors. In Show Current Data Graphically, go to the toolbar on the left side of the screen and click one of the rightmost two buttons along the bottom row. These two buttons allow you to select and delete multiple objects by drawing either a rectangle or a polygon. When you draw either a rectangle or a polygon, a pop-up appears and gives you the option to delete any or all categories of objects (sources, buildings, etc.) and delete receptors either inside or outside the rectangle or polygon.


“Our expertise is contagious. Catch it!”

Beginning with our September 2020 AERMOD classes, a new course fee pricing structure went into effect. If a student registers more than one month before the start of class, the course fee is $995 per student. If a student registers less than one month prior to the start of class, the fee is $1,095 per student. As before, if more than one student from an office/company registers for a class, each registered student has a $100 discount applied to the course fee. Other discounts, such as those for government air agency staff, are still available.

We also want to note that many folks use our classes as credit toward professional engineer continuing education requirements. Check with your state’s licensing board or the National Society of Professional Engineers (see here or here) for more information on what is required.

AERMOD Modeling for Permits

Our next scheduled AERMOD Modeling for Permits class will be February 9-10, 2021 and will be an online class. Sign up today and plan to join us in the virtual world! If you want to register, click here.

Advanced AERMOD

Similarly, our next scheduled Advanced AERMOD class will be February 11-12, 2021 and will also be online.

Advanced AERMOD covers those topics that are near and dear to modelers, such as:

  • NAAQS modeling for 1-hour NO2, 1-hour SO2 and 24-hour PM2.5 (including MaxDCont Viewer)
  • Meteorological data processing with AERMET / AERMINUTE / AERSURFACE
  • Changes related to the new Appendix W (Guideline on Air Quality Models)
  • MAXIFILE and ARRAY2 processing
  • AERMOD alpha options, such as PSDCREDIT
  • AERMOD Wizard and its uses


Click here to register!

Don’t forget, if our schedule of classes doesn’t mesh with your schedule, or if you have several people that need to be trained at once, contact us about setting up an onsite class. Have laptop, will travel!

New Webinars

Since we’re all living in an online, virtual world these days, we will be revisiting and updating our webinars that are posted here. Upcoming topics include:

  • BEEST Overview
  • Model Output with BEEST
  • Terrain Data
  • BEEST Tricks and Tips
  • AERSCREEN Overview
  • AERMOD Wizard
  • And much, much more


2021 Class Schedule

The rest of our 2021 classes are:

Class Dates  
AERMOD Modeling for Permits May 25-26, 2021  
Advanced AERMOD May 27-28, 2021  
AERMOD Modeling for Permits August 24-25, 2021  
Advanced AERMOD August 26-27, 2021  
AERMOD Modeling for Permits November 16-17, 2021  
Advanced AERMOD November 18-19, 2021  


Find the best dates that work for you and we’ll see you then!



BeestXpress users have some great system enhancements to work with:

  • The “Job Details” webpage now displays the pollutant being modeled;
  • The “Job Details” webpage now displays run progress for MAXDCONT calculations;
  • Modeling runs with multiple partitions now include a combined AERMOD input file (*.DTA) in the output .ZIP file;
  • Added an option to the “Submit Job” webpage that affects modeling runs with multiple partitions: the intermediate output files created by each partition can be omitted from the output .ZIP file
  • The “Job Search” webpage now includes the option to search by project number
  • Users have access to up to 50 partitions per AERMOD run


To date, BeestXpress has processed over 400,000 AERMOD runs.

If you’ve never used BeestXpress, or it has been a while since you did, you may want to log on at www.beestxpress.com to take advantage of our AERMOD “force multiplier”. That AERMOD run that might have taken a day to run on your desktop computer can finish in an hour or less on BeestXpress. When time is money, BeestXpress is the best modeling return on investment there is!

BeestXpress has been updated to run AERMOD 19191.

Meteorological Data Processing Services

Do you need AERMOD-ready or CalPuff-ready meteorological data? If so, we can help! Whether it’s running the AERMET / AERMINUTE system or a full CalMet run, Providence has the background, know-how, and experience to have your data processed and ready for you ASAP. Need on-site data processed? We do that, too! If you’d like more information, contact us at info@providenceoris.com or jamesred@providenceeng.com.

Consulting Solutions

One thing that we’re very proud of is the depth and range of our modeling experience and expertise. The kinds of air quality models we’ve used include all types, ranging from simple screening tools like SCREEN3 and AERSCREEN to plume models like ISC and AERMOD to CalPuff to CAMx. The types of analyses included basic Significant Impact Level, NAAQS, PSD increment consumption, Class I analyses, air toxics, and SIP attainment demonstrations. So, we’ve seen it all. To that end, should you or your clients need additional modeling assistance or just a second set of eyes to QA or peer review your modeling (ranging from initial protocol up to final submission), we stand ready to help. Feel free to contact us at (512) 258-8855 or info@providenceoris.com.



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January 10-15, 2021
101st Annual Meeting of the American Meteorological Society

February 9-10, 2021
AERMOD Modeling for Permits

February 11-12, 2021
Advanced AERMOD