Large Asian dust layers continuously reached North America in April 2010
1Research Institute for Applied Mechanics, Kyushu University, Kasuga, Fukuoka, Japan
2Meteorological Research Institute, Tsukuba, Japan
3National Institute of Aerospace, Hampton, Virginia, USA
4National Institute for Environmental Studies, Tsukuba, Japan
Abstract. The NASA space-borne Mie-lidar system CALIPSO/CALIOP revealed that multiple large Asian dust layers with a horizontal scale of 2000–3000 km reached North America, occupying the full troposphere, in April 2010. This kind of dust layer transport has not been reported before. Our analysis of CALIOP data and global aerosol model results revealed that frequent dust emissions occurred in northwestern China because of stronger-than-average near-surface winds, and that strong stable westerly winds carried the Asian dust from northwestern China to the central Pacific Ocean. A negative pressure anomaly was located in the eastern Pacific Ocean, and the main dust transport path was split into two branches: a northern path and a southern path over North America. Northern-path dust was trapped and stagnant for a longer time than southern path dust and finally subsided under a high-pressure system. Dust along the southern path reached the central US. These complex conditions resulted in a multi-layered structure of dust over North America.