Sand storm. Source: pxhere

Cyclone Ivan brings massive dust storm

22 March 2016 00:00 UTC–24 March 06:00 UTC

Sand storm. Source: pxhere
Sand storm. Source: pxhere

Cyclone Ivan brought an impressive low that carried huge amounts of dust to parts of Europe at the end of March.

Last Updated

04 May 2023

Published on

21 March 2016

By Ivan Smiljanic (DHMZ)

The cyclone from the Algeria moved initially over the Tyrrhenian Sea and then further to the east brought big amounts of dust particles over southern and south-eastern Europe.

Over some parts of Croatia weather conditions of strong wind accompanied with high concentrations of dust aerosol particles resembled real dust storms that do not occur in these parts. It was reported that the country only experienced a 'dust cyclone' like this once before, on 26 March 1992 (see Meteosat-4 infrared animation, 25 March 10:30 UTC–27 March, 22:30 UTC and the Meteosat-4 visible animation, 25 March 11:00 UTC–27 March 16:00 UTC .

In some places visibility dropped down to only few hundreds of meter. In the higher mountains dust episode produced brown snow cover.

This cyclone was also responsible for strong Bora wind episodes in the coastal regions of northeast Adriatic, with the gusts that exceeded 180km/h.

On the Meteosat-10 Dust RGB imagery (Figure 1 and animation) the dust can bee seen the large pink area travelling from the west over Italy and the Mediterranean Sea towards the Adriatic coast.

On the VIIRS True Color RGB (Figure 2) the large dust cloud that was moving over the Mediterranean Sea towards the Balkan Peninsula can be seen.

 Met-10, 23 March 2016, 11:00 UTC
Figure 1: Meteosat-10 Dust RGB, 23 March 11:00 UTC
Download animation, 22 March 00:00 UTC–24 March 06:00 UTC
 Suomi-NPP, 23 March 2016, 11:23 UTC
Figure 2: Suomi-NPP VIIRS True Color, 23 March 11:23 UTC