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Discussion papers
https://doi.org/10.5194/esd-2019-28
© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
https://doi.org/10.5194/esd-2019-28
© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Submitted as: research article 27 May 2019

Submitted as: research article | 27 May 2019

Review status
This discussion paper is a preprint. It is a manuscript under review for the journal Earth System Dynamics (ESD).

Organization of Dust Storms and Synoptic Scale Transport of Dust by Kelvin Waves

Ashok Kumar Pokharel1,2 and Michael L. Kaplan2,3 Ashok Kumar Pokharel and Michael L. Kaplan
  • 1Department of Atmospheric Sciences /University of Nevada, Reno, USA
  • 2Division of Atmospheric Sciences/Desert Research Institute, Reno, NV, USA
  • 3Applied Meteorology Program/ Embry- Riddle Aeronautical University, Prescott, AZ, USA

Abstract. 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 storms 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 datasets, WRF simulated high resolution variables, MODIS/Aqua and Terra images, EUMETSAT images, NAAPS aerosol modelling plots, and MERRA-2 dust scattering AOD modelling plots, surface observations, and rawinsonde soundings were analyzed for each of these three case studies. We found 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).

Ashok Kumar Pokharel and Michael L. Kaplan
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Ashok Kumar Pokharel and Michael L. Kaplan
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Latest update: 19 Aug 2019
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Short summary
This study contributes to a better understanding of how large scale dust transport can be organized from Northwest Africa to the U.S., Amazon basin, and Europe (shown by previous studies) and might be due in part to Kelvin waves. We also think there is still a need to study major historical dust events that occurred in this region to confirm that this location is suitable and are responsible for the generation of the Kelvin waves and the transport the dust on a regular basis.
This study contributes to a better understanding of how large scale dust transport can be...
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