A sharp dust boundary formed in March 2018, after the clash of a dry and dusty Saharan air mass with a moist tropical air mass.
21 April 2021
29 March 2018
By Ivan Smiljanic (SISYS)
A dry, dusty air mass from the Sahara, advected towards the south, confronted a tropical air mass from the outflow of a ITCZ convective system over southern Sudan and Chad.
An irregular frontal line formed in that area around 08:00 UTC on 29 March, defined by local orography.
Along the formed front, dusty air from the north was pushed against the moist air from the south, forming a relatively sharp boundary. This boundary is clearly seen in the high resolution True Color RGB imagery (Figure 1).
The collision of two the air masses can be clearly seen on the animated Meteosat-10 Dust RGB imagery (Figure 2). This moment is captured through the apparent slowing down of the advection of the dusty air on its way towards the south. After the collision and the short halt to the advection, the piled-up, dusty air recovers the initial speed southwards.
Looking at the higher resolution imagery in Figure 2, it can be easily assessed that between 08:25 UTC and 11:30 UTC (the two sequential MODIS overpasses over the area shown in Figure 1) the sharp dust boundary only moved about 40 km upstream of the White Nile.
The evidence for the northward movement of the tropical air mass, is the lifted ‘dust puff’ in eastern Sudan, close to border with Eritrea, with its northward movement.
Also, the fact that the two air masses collided is evident from the formed convergence zone reflected through a wavy cumulus field ahead of the dusty front (Figure 3) and the convective activity along the frontal line (Figure 4).
Other dust cases
Major dust outbreaks - Africa, Middle East & China
Meteosat-8 spots series of dust outbreaks in March 2021.
Meteosat-11 captures plume of Saharan dust coming from northern Africa
On 5-6 February 2021, a massive amount of Saharan dust was advected across the Mediterranean Sea into central Europe.
Large dust plume ejecting off west Africa
Saharan dust heading for Europe in Feb 2021; second major dust outbreak of the season
Dust over the US Central Plains and Gulf of Mexico
Major dust outbreak over the American Central Plains in mid-January 2021.
Latest case studies
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.