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Dust storms backward Trajectories' and source identification over Kuwait

Yassin, Mohamed F., Almutairi, Sarah K., Al-Hemoud, Ali
Atmospheric research 2018 v.212 pp. 158-171
air, altitude, autumn, case studies, dust, dust storms, humidity, latitude, meteorological data, models, moderate resolution imaging spectroradiometer, remote sensing, satellites, semiarid zones, spring, summer, temperature, wind direction, wind speed, winter, Kuwait, Sahara Desert
Dust storms (DS) are considered a common environmental phenomenon in numerous countries of the world, especially in the arid and semi-arid regions. DS causes a significant impact on human health, climate, the environment and many associated socioeconomic factors. The main goal of this study is to assess the sources of DS in the State of Kuwait. The present study investigates DS over Kuwait using the backward trajectories' simulation with MODIS satellite observations at various latitudes (1000, 3000, 5000 m) during the four seasons; winter, spring, summer, and fall. The trajectories' simulation was modeled using the HYSPLIT model to create the seasonal climatologic of air parcel trajectories. The meteorological data (e.g., visibility, wind speed, wind direction, temperature, and humidity) were collected during a 12-year period from 2000 to 2012. Daily trajectories were computed backward for five days from a central origin at several altitudes above the ground surface. The variability of the DS was analyzed daily, monthly, seasonally and annually. A case study on 25 March 2011 and two cases from each season were selected for analysis. The results showed that the HYSPLIT model was consistent with the MODIS satellite images. The sources of DS were identified from both the Sahara Desert and the Arabian Desert. Furthermore, there is a significant influence of the atmospheric conditions on the DS sources. The most influential parameter was visibility, from the west and the northwest direction. The present work provides evidence and suggestions for the origins of DS and is expected to help in establishing guidelines for public protection against dust particles and provides significant information to the concerned officials to take proper actions.