Evaluation of ECMWF Center Data in Monitoring and Forecasting Dust Storms in Southwestern Iran (Case Study: Khuzestan Plain)

Document Type : Research Article


1 PhD Candidate in Climatology, Faculty of Geography, Tarbiat Modares University, Tehran, Iran

2 PhD Candidate in Climatology, Faculty of Geography, Khwarazmi University, Tehran, Iran


In order to investigate dust storms in Khuzestan plain, statistics of 13 synoptic stations in a period of 17 years (2000-2000) were used. One day was chosen as a stormy day when the horizontal visibility of less than 200 to 100 meters was reported in more than 70% of the stations. To analyze the weather conditions, the networked data of the European Center for Medium-Term Forecasting were used. To show the spatial pattern of dust, the AOD values ​​of the MODIS sensor were used. Studies have shown that four spatial patterns in the region cause such conditions. Dust transfer from the north and west of Iraq and eastern Syria as the main centers and dry border areas between Khuzestan province and Iraq are considered as intensifying dust activities. Increased unstable conditions in the lower levels and the existence of a series of atmospheric disturbances that have taken place in a dry manner have caused dust to rise from possible areas and flow into the area. By indexing, the relative fineness parameter of 850 hPs was found to be suitable in identifying possible foci of fine dust. Thus, to predict dust in the region when the wind speed reaches its maximum on the dust centers, it is expected to witness the occurrence of severe dust storms with a delay of 24 to 48 hours in the region. However, the existence of instabilities and the increase of relative equilibrium on the foci have caused the mentioned process to increase and the particles to flow to the region in less than 24 hours.

Graphical Abstract

Evaluation of ECMWF Center Data in Monitoring and Forecasting Dust Storms in Southwestern Iran (Case Study: Khuzestan Plain)


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Volume 12, Issue 1 - Serial Number 45
February 2023
Pages 155-170
  • Receive Date: 16 February 2022
  • Revise Date: 16 March 2022
  • Accept Date: 21 April 2022
  • First Publish Date: 21 April 2022