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Atmospheric Measurement Techniques An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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  06 Oct 2020

06 Oct 2020

Review status: a revised version of this preprint was accepted for the journal AMT and is expected to appear here in due course.

Satellite Imagery and Products of the 16–17 February 2020 Saharan Air Layer Dust Event over the Eastern Atlantic: Impacts of Water Vapor on Dust Detection and Morphology

Lewis Grasso1, Dan Bikos1, Jorel Torres1, John F. Dostalek1, Ting-Chi Wu1, John Forsythe1, Heather Q. Cronk1, Curtis J. Seaman1, Steven D. Miller1, Emily Berndt2, Harry G. Weinman3, and Kennard B. Kasper4 Lewis Grasso et al.
  • 1Cooperative Institute for Research in the Atmosphere, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO, USA
  • 2NASA Marshall Space Flight Center, Short-term Prediction Research and Transition Center,Huntsville, AL, USA
  • 3NOAA/NWS Miami-South Florida Weather Forecast Office, Miami, FL, USA
  • 4NOAA/NWS Florida Keys Weather Forecast Office, KeyWest, FL, USA

Abstract. On 16–17 February 2020, dust within a Saharan Air Layer (SAL) from western Africa moved over the eastern Atlantic Ocean. Satellite imagery and products from ABI on GOES-16, VIIRS on NOAA-20, and CALIOP on CALIPSO along with retrieved values of layer and total precipitable water (TPW) from MiRS and NUCAPS, respectively, were used to identify dust within the SAL over the eastern Atlantic Ocean. Use of various satellite imagery and products were also used to characterize the distribution of water vapor within the SAL. There was a distinct pattern between dust detection and dust masking and values of precipitable water. Specifically, dust was detected when values of layer or TPW were approximately 14 mm; in addition, dust was masked when values of layer or TPW were approximately 28 mm. In other words, water vapor masked infrared dust detection if sufficient amounts of water vapor existed in a column. Results herein provide observational support to two recent numerical studies that concluded water vapor can mask infrared detection of airborne dust.

Lewis Grasso et al.

Lewis Grasso et al.

Lewis Grasso et al.


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