Dust cloud over building

Dust squalls from convection over west Africa

4 August 2006 00:00 UTC

Dust cloud over building
Dust cloud over building

Dust squalls from convective cloud system over Western Africa in August 2006.

Last Updated

25 May 2022

Published on

04 August 2006

By Jochen Kerkmann (EUMETSAT)

The capability of MSG to detect dust storms over desert surfaces, both during the day and night, was first studied in July 2003 using a case from Algeria and Mali. The case now shown below is very similar to the above mentioned case. With the help of the dust RGB the dust storm could be tracked in real-time as it moved across southern Algeria and central Mali.

As reported by Prof Daniel Rosenfeld in 2005, during the rain season from May to October hundreds if not thousands of similar dust squalls triggered by convective outflow boundaries can be observed over the Sahel area, from Sudan in the east to Senegal in the west.

Generally, these summer dust storms over the Sahel area move south to north and east to west, as compared to the winter dust storms linked to cold air outbreaks from Europe to Northern Africa that move north to south and west to east.

Further interesting examples of dust squalls and the interaction with convective clouds can be found in the cases from 8 to 10 May 2005 (see Case studies of aerosol-cloud interactions and life cycle of perturbed clouds, Lensky I. and D. Rosenfeld) and 4–5 October 2005 (Monitoring airmass/moisture boundaries with MSG).

Dust RGB
Figure 1: Meteosat-8 Dust RGB, 4 August 2006, 07:45 UTC. Animation (02:00–07:45 UTC)