Between 11 and 15 February 2019, a dust storm originating in Central Australia with persistent westerly and south westerly winds caused high particle concentrations at many sites in the state of New South Wales (NSW); both inland and along the coast. The dust continued to be transported to New Zealand and to Antarctica in the south east. This study uses observed data and the WRF-Chem Weather Research Forecast model based on GOCART-AFWA (Goddard Chemistry Aerosol Radiation and Transport–Air Force and Weather Agency) dust scheme and GOCART aerosol and gas-phase MOZART (Model for Ozone And Related chemical Tracers) chemistry model to study the long-range transport of aerosols for the period 11 to 15 February 2019 across eastern Australia and onto New Zealand and Antarctica. Wildfires also happened in northern NSW at the same time, and their emissions are taken into account in the WRF-Chem model by using the Fire Inventory from NCAR (FINN) as the emission input. Modelling results using the WRF-Chem model show that for the Canterbury region of the South Island of New Zealand, peak concentration of PM10
) as measured on 14 February 2019 at 05:00 UTC at the monitoring stations of Geraldine, Ashburton, Timaru and Woolston (Christchurch), and about 2 h later at Rangiora and Kaiapoi, correspond to the prediction of high PM10
due to the intrusion of dust to ground level from the transported dust layer above. The Aerosol Optical Depth (AOD) observation data from MODIS 3 km Terra/Aqua and CALIOP LiDAR measurements on board CALIPSO (Cloud-Aerosol LiDAR and Infrared Pathfinder Satellite Observations) satellite also indicate that high-altitude dust ranging from 2 km to 6 km, originating from this dust storm event in Australia, was located above Antarctica. This study suggests that the present dust storms in Australia can transport dust from sources in Central Australia to the Tasman sea, New Zealand and Antarctica.
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