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Atmosphere 2014, 5(4), 889-913;

The Synoptic Patterns Associated with Spring Widespread Dusty Days in Central and Eastern Saudi Arabia

Department of Meteorology, Center of Excellence for Climate Change Research, King Abdul Aziz University Jeddah, Box 80208, Jeddah 21589, Saudi Arabia
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 8 October 2014 / Revised: 26 October 2014 / Accepted: 13 November 2014 / Published: 27 November 2014
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Four synoptic regimes were identified as accompanying the widespread dust in central and eastern Saudi Arabia. The widespread cases of dust were classified based on the value and spread of the aerosol index data from the TOMS aerosol index (TOMS AI) satellite over the area of interest. The synoptic regimes of these dust cases were recognized using the Empirical Orthogonal Function (EOF) analysis of their mean sea level pressure (SLP), which was obtained from the National Centers for Environmental Prediction and the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCEP/NCAR) Reanalysis Project dataset. The variations of the analyzed SLP of these four regimes appeared as meridional distributions for the first two regimes and zonal distributions for the second two regimes. A surface synoptic study of the first two regimes showed that the most significant features were either a strong low-pressure system over the eastern region or a strong high-pressure system over the western region. The synoptic features for the less significant regimes (the second two regimes) were characterized by the interaction between the northern high-pressure belt, which shifted northward because of the significant regime decrease, and the southern low-pressure belt. In addition, the upper synoptic study showed that the upper synoptic systems support the surface systems. Moreover, the study showed that the surface northerly wind over the eastern Arabian Peninsula is the dominant wind during strong dust activity, whereas the surface southerly wind is dominant during weak dust activity. View Full-Text
Keywords: TOMS aerosol index; spring dust; synoptic regimes; Saudi Arabia TOMS aerosol index; spring dust; synoptic regimes; Saudi Arabia

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Awad, A.; Mashat, A.-W. The Synoptic Patterns Associated with Spring Widespread Dusty Days in Central and Eastern Saudi Arabia. Atmosphere 2014, 5, 889-913.

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