Large dust cloud over parts of Asia

Large dust cloud over parts of Asia

27 April 03:00 UTC–29 April 2015 04:40 UTC

Large dust cloud over parts of Asia
Large dust cloud over parts of Asia

Both EUMETSAT satellites and the Japanese Himawari satellite saw a large dust outbreak over parts of Asia at the end of April.

Last Updated

04 November 2020

Published on

27 April 2015

by William Straka III (CIMSS), HansPeter Roesli (Switzerland) and Jochen Kerkmann (EUMETSAT)

The dust outbreak started over Iran, moved over the Sea of Oman and India on 27 April, as can be seen in the Meteosat-10 Dust RGB animation, 25 April 06:00 UTC–28 April 06:00 UTC. Also areas over Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan and Afghanistan saw dust veils.

On the Himawari-8 Dust RGB imagery, 27 April 13:20 UTC (Figure 1) the large pink area is a second dust outbreak in the China/Mongolia border area that is probably related to the same synoptic disturbance which crosses Asia from west to east.

 The large area of dust can be seen in bright pink on the Himawari-8 Dust RGB, 27 April 13:20 UTC
Figure 1: The large area of dust can be seen in bright pink on the Himawari-8 Dust RGB, 27 April 13:20 UTC. Full resolution

 

The Himwari-8 Dust RGB (Figure 2) and the Metop-A AVHRR imagery (Figure 3, dust identified in yellow to pink from the difference of the split IR window bands), taken around the same time, the beginning of the dust storm can be seen over western China.

 
 Himawari-8, 27 April 2015, 03:30 UTC
Figure 2: Himawari-8 AHI Dust RGB, 27 April 2015, 03:30 UTC. Full Resolution
 
 Metop-A, 27 April 2015, 03:34 UTC
Figure 3: Metop-A AVHRR, Difference 4–5, 27 April 2015, 03:34 UTC. Full Resolution

The evolution of the dust on 27 April can be seen in the animated gif of the AHI imagery, from 03:00–16:50 UTC and the Meteosat-7 Visible imagery, from 05:30–12:00 UTC.

 
 Meteosat-7, 29 April 2015, 01:30 UTC
Figure 4: Meteosat-7 Visible, 29 April 2015, 01:30 UTC. Full Resolution
 
 Metop-A, 29 April 2015, 04:40 UTC
Figure 5: Metop-A AVHRR, RGB 1-2-4, 29 April 2015, 04:40 UTC. Full Resolution

As the trough at the origin of this event travelled further east, it lifted dust over the Taklamakan Desert by 29 April, as illustrated by Meteosat-7 visible imagery (Figure 4) and Metop-A AVHRR RGB (Figure 5).

 
 Dust over the desert, taken by NASA astronaut Scott Kelly from the International Space Station
Figure 6: Dust over the desert, taken by NASA astronaut Scott Kelly from the International Space Station. Full resolution

Also on 29 April astronaut Scott Kelly photographed the large dust cloud from the International Space Station. Figure 6 shows the image he Tweeted.