Special Issue "Monitoring and Forecasting of Dust Storms"

A special issue of Atmosphere (ISSN 2073-4433). This special issue belongs to the section "Air Quality".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 30 June 2023 | Viewed by 612

Special Issue Editors

Faculty of Agriculture, University of Belgrade, Nemanjina 6, 11080 Belgrade, Serbia
Interests: atmospheric modeling; modeling of mineral dust transport; climate change modeling, impacts and adaptation
1. Republic Hydrometeorological Service of Serbia, Department of National Centre for Climate Change, Kneza Viseslava 66, 11000 Belgrade, Serbia
2. Institute of Physics Belgrade, University of Belgrade, Pregrevica 118, 11080 Belgrade, Serbia
Interests: atmospheric modeling; mineral dust transport modeling; modeling of airborne dust interaction with the environment
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Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Dust storms (frequently addressed as sand and dust storms) are a local weather phenomenon that could develop to have an effect on a regional and even global scale. The atmospheric dust cycle in the climate system is a natural global cycle which is multipurpose: it interacts with energy, water, and the carbon cycle. Dust storms are created when high-velocity surface winds impact land surfaces that are dust productive. They can inject dust into the upper atmosphere where horizontal transport is dominant and carries the finest dust particles at far distances. Land surface dust productivity can be increased by diverse direct human impacts, such as tillage, grazing, mining, and water overconsumption. Indirect human impacts relate to the increase in soil exposure and dryness induced by climate change. The deposition of dust back to the Earth’s surface can be near or far from the emission areas depending on the particle size composition and atmospheric circulation.

Monitoring and modeling of dust storms serves to enhance the knowledge on the atmospheric dust transport, source areas, affected areas, and extent of dust-storm impacts. Both can provide information for warning systems and risk assessments, and thereby to contribute to the protection of health, the economy, and the environment.

Observation of dust storms has limitations because of the scarce ground measurements and sometimes inapplicable/unavailable satellite measurements. Forecasting dust storms is not usually the component of the national forecasting systems in the affected areas but is rather in an experimental stage in scientific institutions, or the products are derived from the regional dust forecasting centers (for example, those developed by WMO SDS-WAS; link, acronime ?). The dust forecast quality is highly sensitive to the prognostic model set-up (domain, resolution), to the quality of input data related to the soil surface characteristics/conditions, and to related information on the dust source distribution, to the capacity of the model to accurately predict the weather forecast which impacted the dust storm generation and development, etc. For this reason, the dust forecast quality can differ among models, and the forecast performance can vary from case to case. Thereby, the monitoring and forecasting of dust storms represent a great challenge.

This Special Issue is open to any novel studies related to dust-storm observations and modeling/forecasting, including studies related to dust sources, atmospheric transport, interactions with the environment, impacts, etc.

Dr. Ana Vukovic
Dr. Slobodan Nickovic
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

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Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2000 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.


  • mineral dust
  • sand and dust storms
  • atmospheric dust
  • dust sources
  • dust mineralogy
  • dust modeling and forecasting
  • dust observations
  • dust–atmosphere interactions
  • dust storms impacts
  • dust cycle
  • land surface

Published Papers (1 paper)

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Distribution, Transport, and Impact on Air Quality of Two Typical Dust Events in China in 2021
Atmosphere 2023, 14(3), 432; https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos14030432 - 21 Feb 2023
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The dust event from 12 January to 17 January 2021 (“1.12 event”) is the first dust process in 2021 and the earliest dust event in the last two decades. The dust event from 14 to 18 March 2021 (“3.15 event”) was the strongest [...] Read more.
The dust event from 12 January to 17 January 2021 (“1.12 event”) is the first dust process in 2021 and the earliest dust event in the last two decades. The dust event from 14 to 18 March 2021 (“3.15 event”) was the strongest dust storm in the past decade. Distribution, transport, and impact on urban air quality of these two typical dust events were studied using multi-source satellite data, a HYSPLIT trajectory model, and a 3D concentration-weighted trajectory model. Results show that both dust events affected a wide range of areas, covering Northwest, North, Northeast, East, and Central-South China. A strong dust belt spanning Northwest, North, and Northeast China was formed in northern China on 15 March 2021. The distribution heights of the 1.12 and 3.15 events were 0–5 km and 0–10 km, respectively. Dust from western Inner Mongolia and southern Mongolia dominated the 1.12 event, while dust from southern Mongolia dominated the 3.15 event. Both of these dust sources had eastward and southeastward transport paths. The majority of the dust was near-ground in downstream cities from an altitude of 0–3 km. Most cities were affected by the dust backflow. The 1.12 event generated more severe particulate pollution in southern China than the 3.15 event. During high-value dust days, ozone pollution levels decreased at the majority of stations. Dust weather with low dust rising heights and dust backflow phenomena should be taken seriously in urban dust pollution forecasting and warning work. International collaboration is needed to improve China’s desertification control. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Monitoring and Forecasting of Dust Storms)
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