Meteorological Analysis of Severe Dust Storm over Middle East

Farah Hasseb Jasim

Abstract


across the Middle East but usually focus on Iraq and the Arabian Gulf region where clouds of sand are whipped up from arid areas. On 6 to 9 September 2015, a massive dust storm whipped across at least seven countries in the Middle East and enveloped the east Mediterranean. The storm was unusual for this time of year. The aim of this work is to investigate the meteorological conditions that led to the formation and spreading of the storm. Satellite images, aerosols index, surface and upper air weather maps were analyzed for the period of the storm. Satellite images indicated that the huge dust storm was a result of two merged storms, one came from the Syrian Desert and the second initiated over the Sanai Peninsula. Results showed that the region was dominated by a low-pressure system. Two thermal convection lows, which developed just above the Syrian Desert and the Sanai Peninsula, are believed to be main cause of lifting up dust from ground surface. The strong ridge dominated the region indicated that there were a warm and dry weather conditions at the surface. The results also indicated that the horizontal wind patterns, both surface and 850 hPa pressure levels have spread dust all over the region. The 850 hPa pressure vertical wind was notably negative (ascending air) over the two source areas of dust, while the vertical wind was positive (descending air) above the east Mediterranean and the coastal countries. This situation of descending air made dust to travel near the earth surface.

Keywords


Dust Storm, MODIS, TOMS AI, Synoptic

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.23851/mjs.v29i2.385

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ISSN: 1814-635X (Print), ISSN: 2521-3520 (online)