HYSPLIT Basic Tutorial Contents

Last Revised
November 2023



HYSPLIT consists of a series of programs that read meteorological data files to compute trajectories, particle dispersion, and air concentrations. A very brief overview is provided here for those not familiar with the terminology.

Follow the HYSPLIT tutorial sections in the sequence shown below, working through each example. GUI menu screen images will be shown as needed. However, not all of the GUI options will be exercised with each example. Additional menu options will be introduced as needed. The GUI just creates the required input files needed to run HYSPLIT. Although the operation of the GUI is similar on Linux and Mac platforms, not all of the functions are available on all systems.

Some sections have a zoom button to show the required data entry values in a larger font. The tutorial is focused toward running HYSPLIT on a Windows PC. However, most sections have a link to a LINUX script or a Windows batch file that can be used to reproduce the example. The time at the bottom left of most pages shows the wall-clock time for that example. For some of the more computationally intense sections, the model output files can be found in the results directory of the tutorial.

The tutorial has been tested with HYSPLIT version 5.3.0 (see what's new). The GUI is continuously evolving and some the images of the GUI show here may reflect earlier versions if the particular option under discussion has not changed. The output examples may differ slightly from your results due to various operating systems, compilers, and CPU types in use.

  1. Installing HYSPLIT
    1. Windows PC
    2. Apple MAC OSX
    3. UNIX or LINUX
    4. HYSPLIT directories
    5. Exercise #1

  2. Testing the installation
    1. Graphical user interface operation
    2. Test trajectory calculation
    3. Test air concentration calculation
    4. Batch file scripting
    5. Using CAPTEX data in this tutorial
    6. Exercise #2

  3. Gridded Meteorological Data Files
    1. Tutorial meteorological data
    2. FTP Meteorological data
    3. Convert meteorological data
    4. Meteorological data servers
    5. User entered meteorological data
    6. Exercise #3

  4. Trajectory calculations
    1. The trajectory calculation
    2. The trajectory equation
    3. Estimating mixed layer depths
    4. Mixed layer trajectories
    5. Computational trajectory error
    6. Meteorology trajectory error
    7. Absolute trajectory error
    8. Exercise #4

  5. Trajectory options
    1. Trajectory vertical motion
    2. Trajectory flow field
    3. Trajectories and terrain
    4. Multiple trajectories in time
    5. Multiple trajectories in space
    6. Meteorological grid ensemble
    7. Exercise #5

  6. Trajectory statistics
    1. Frequency analysis
    2. Cluster analysis
    3. Clustering equations
    4. Source geolocation
    5. Exercise #6
    6. Working directory cleanup

  7. Air Concentration Calculations
    1. Reconfiguring the test case
    2. Air concentration equations
    3. Single particle trajectory
    4. Single particle animation
    5. Releasing multiple particles
    6. Display particle positions
    7. Particle distributions using puffs
    8. Downwind puff splitting
    9. Exercise #7

  8. Configuring the CAPTEX simulation
    1. Configure for CAPTEX release #2
    2. Air concentration display options
    3. Air concentration utilities
    4. Air concentration statistics
    5. Test and optimize HYSPLIT inputs
    6. Simultaneous multiple grids
    7. Exercise #8

  9. Air Concentration Parameter Sensitivity
    1. Case study base configuration
    2. Base configuration optimization
    3. Turbulence parameterizations
    4. Stability computation method
    5. Mixed layer depth calculation
    6. Turbulent kinetic energy
    7. Dispersion computation method
    8. Exercise #9

  10. Alternate display options
    1. Display scripting
    2. County map boundaries
    3. Enhanced graphic labels
    4. Creating KML/KMZ for Google Earth
    5. Creating HYSPLIT shapefiles
    6. Shapefile overlays
    7. Python display options
    8. Exercise #10

  11. Pollutant transformations and deposition
    1. Linear mass conversions
    2. Dry deposition for gases
    3. Dry deposition for particles
    4. Wet deposition for gases
    5. Wet deposition for particles
    6. Exercise #11

  12. Air concentration Uncertainty
    1. Meteorological grid ensemble
    2. Uncertainty due to particle number
    3. Physics ensemble
    4. Multiple meteorological data
    5. Ensemble verification
    6. Ensemble reduction techniques
    7. Exercise #12

  13. Source attribution methods
    1. Emissions from a known location
    2. Backward versus forward dispersion
    3. Emissions from a unknown location
    4. Source-receptor matrix approach
    5. Source location statistics
    6. Solving the coefficient matrix (CM)
    7. Cost function minimization of the CM
    8. Exercise #13

  14. Wildfire smoke and dust storms
    1. Fire smoke
    2. Dust Storms: Simplified Algorithm
    3. Dust Storms: Revised Algorithm
    4. Dust Storms: Emission Factors
    5. Exercise #14

  15. Radioactive pollutants and dose
    1. Basic radioactive decay and dose
    2. Long-Range I-131 from Fukushima NPP
    3. Dose calculations from Fukushima NPP
    4. Exercise #15

  16. Complex Emissions
    1. Multiple particle sizes with gravitational settling
    2. Restarting the model from PARDUMP
    3. Rotating and shifting the plume
    4. Particle size distributions
    5. Complex emissions scenarios with the EMITIMES file
    6. Exercise #16: Volcanic eruption

  17. Custom simulations
    1. Counting particle trajectories
    2. Dynamic or Lagrangian sampling
    3. Volume or mass mixing ratios
    4. Short-range dispersion
    5. Polar coordinate concentration grid
    6. STILT configuration in HYSPLIT
    7. Exercise #17