Dust crossing the Gulf of Oman.
21 October 2020
08 May 2005
by Jochen Kerkmann (EUMETSAT)
Two problems faced by meteorologists in Oman are the prediction and subsequent tracking of storms blowing dust from Iran across the Gulf of Oman towards Oman itself, often with severe consequences for air and road traffic. Meteosat-5, being positioned over the Indian Ocean at 63 degrees East, partially helps to resolve this problem by allowing forecasters to track dust during day-time as it crosses the Gulf of Oman.
With Meteosat Second Generation (Meteosat-8), forecasting the movement of such dust clouds has greatly improved as the dust can be easily followed over land and sea throughout the 24 hours. A simple, yet very efficient, method to detect the dust is through a combination of three IR window channels (IR8.7, IR10.8, IR12.0) into an RGB composite image.
In this RGB composite dust shows as a purple to magenta colour (see colour interpretation ). The recommended ranges and enhancements used to display these IR channels are given in the following Figure . .
The Meteosat-8 images and animations presented below show a major dust cloud moving from Iran towards Oman on 8 May.
The dust cloud had already started three days earlier, on 5 May, when an outbreak of cold air triggered a post-frontal dust storm over Iraq (also called the Shamal, see upper left image). The outbreak of cold air reached Iran on 6–7 May causing large dust storms that moved towards the Gulf of Oman (see left image of second row below).
It is interesting to note the effect of the land-sea breeze circulation on the dust front when it approached the Gulf. The sea breeze actually stops the advance of the dust front towards the sea and blows the dust in the opposite direction towards the land, see Animation , 7 May, 04:00-12:00 UTC, (AVI). On 8 May, the dust cloud finally reached Oman, clearly seen from the HRV image and animation shown below.
Channel 09 (IR10.8) Animation 7 May, 04:00-12:00 UTC, (AVI)
If you have any questions or queries about EUMETSAT, its products and services, please contact our User Service Helpdesk .
Latest case studies
Large smoke plume from wildfires in Russia
By Mark Higgins (EUMETSAT), Sancha Lancaster (Pactum) and Ilaria Parodi (CGI)
Devastating floods in western Europe
Catastrophic floods hit Germany, Belgium and parts of West Europe mid July 2021.
Catastrophic tornado in the Czech Republic
Satellites' view on the catastrophic tornado case on 24 June 2021 in the Czech Republic.
Tracking the Gulf Stream with satellite data
Using satellite data from multiple satellite instruments to track the Gulf Stream in 2020 and 2021.