Organization of dust storms and synoptic-scale transport of dust by Kelvin waves

Pokharel, Ashok Kumar; Kaplan, Michael L.

Based on the large-scale transport of dust driven by the winds parallel to the mountains in the Harmattan, Saudi Arabian, and Bodélé Depression dust storm cases, a detailed study of the generation of Kelvin waves and its possible role in organizing these dust storms and large-scale dust transport was accomplished. For this study, observational and numerical model analyses were done in an in depth manner. For this, MERRA reanalysis data sets; WRF-simulated high-resolution variables; MODIS Aqua and Terra images; EUMETSAT images; NAAPS aerosol modeling plots; and MERRA-2 dust scattering aerosol optical depth (AOD) modeling plots, surface observations, and rawinsonde soundings were analyzed for each of these three case studies. We found that there were meso-β-scale (horizontal length scale of 20–200 km) adjustment processes resulting in Kelvin waves only in the Harmattan and the Bodélé Depression cases. The Kelvin wave preceded a cold pool accompanying the air behind the large-scale cold front instrumental in the major dust storm. We find that this Kelvin wave organized the major dust storm in a narrow zone parallel to the mountains before it expanded upscale (meso-α to synoptic).

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Pokharel, Ashok Kumar / Kaplan, Michael L.: Organization of dust storms and synoptic-scale transport of dust by Kelvin waves. 2019. Copernicus Publications.

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Rechteinhaber: Ashok Kumar Pokharel

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