Dust outbreaks sweep through China

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During 18-19 February 2016 several dust outbreaks occurred over China.

Dust outbreaks sweep through China
Date & Time
18 February 2016 00:00 UTC–19 February 23:30 UTC
Himawari-8, Suomi-NPP
Dust RGB

By HansPeter Roesli (Switzerland)

Driven by westerly winds, the dust swept through the country, partially as far as the East China Sea.

The conditions over these two days were quite cloudy, so the dust is difficult to identify.

Only the sequence of half-hourly Dust RGBs in this very fast animation, 18 Feb 00:00 UTC–19 Feb 23:30 UTC (MP4, 19 MB) reveals some of the dust sources and streamers.

Figure 2: Suomi-NPP, 18 Feb, 06:52 UTC
VIIRS Dust RGB, laid over Google Earth
Figure 3: Himawari-8, 19 Feb, 14:00 UTC
AHI Dust RGB, laid over Google Earth

Two Dust RGB images offer the opportunity to pinpoint a couple of the many dust sources.

The VIIRS overflight on 18 February close to 07:00UTC (Figure 2) shows sources labelled A and B on either side of the Qilian mountains.

On the image from Himawari-8 taken 31 hours later (Figure 3) new sources of dust (labelled 1 and 2) appeared further east on either side of the borderline between the provinces of Qinghai and Gansu.

It looks like the dust sources shown in Figure 2 had a relatively short outreach, while those shown in Figure 3 were farther reaching.


See also:

Dust cloud from China expected to reach Taiwan today (Taipei Times)

Previous case studies

Taklamakan dust (29 April 2011)
East Asia dust storm (11 Nov 2010)

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