In late May/early June 2017, for the first time since it moved to its new IODC position Meteosat-8 spotted a significant dust event.
04 May 2023
30 May 2017
By HansPeter Roesli (Switzerland) and Jochen Kerkmann (EUMETSAT)
Almost as regular as a clock in the mornings of three consecutive days (30 May to 1st June) dust was lifted over arid areas of north-eastern Saudi Arabia and the Pakistani province of Balochistan, as can be seen on the Meteosat-8 Dust RGB animation, 30 May 00:00 UTC–4 June 12:00 UTC.
The Arabian dust was lifted under Shamal winds on all three days. The Balochistani dust was driven from inland out to the Arabian Sea by Sistan winds on 30 and 31 May. But on 1 June the dust was blown in the opposite direction, inland, due to south-westerly winds induced by a tropical disturbance developing over the North Indian Ocean.
It appears that in all six incidents the dust release occurred after the breakdown of the night inversion in the boundary layer at sunrise, as shown on the three Dust RGB images in Figure 1.
According to Kibrom Sium, from the Asmara International Airport Authority in Eritrea, it crossed Yemen and then spread widely, covering most of Red Sea, Somalia, Ethiopia, Eritrea and Djibouti.
He added that on 2 June, from 14:00–16:00 UTC, in the Eritrean capital city Asmara, visibility was reduced to 1km, and only 300m skywards. In general the whole country was covered by dust until around 18:00 UTC.
On the HRV imagery, the animation and Figure 2, the weak flares are due to sunglint (indicated by the red arrows on Figure 4).
When comparing the Dust RGB imagery from Meteosat-8 with that from Meteosat-10 (Figure 5), the dust signal is stronger from this area due to the more oblique view from this spacecraft as compared to Meteosat-8.
Summer 'shamal' disturbs life in the Gulf states (Al Jazeera)
Watch this huge wall of dust tower above Sudan's Khartoum turning the sky blood red (International Business Times)