Modeling a typical winter-time dust event over the Arabian Peninsula and the Red Sea S. Kalenderski1, G. Stenchikov1, and C. Zhao2 1Division of Physical Sciences and Engineering, King Abdullah University of Science and Technology, Thuwal, Saudi Arabia 2Atmospheric Sciences and Global Change Division, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, Richland, WA, USA
Abstract. We used WRF-Chem, a regional meteorological model coupled with an
aerosol-chemistry component, to simulate various aspects of the dust
phenomena over the Arabian Peninsula and Red Sea during a typical
winter-time dust event that occurred in January 2009. The model predicted
that the total amount of emitted dust was 18.3 Tg for the entire dust
outburst period and that the two maximum daily rates were ~2.4 Tg day−1 and ~1.5 Tg day−1, corresponding to two periods with
the highest aerosol optical depth that were well captured by ground- and
satellite-based observations. The model predicted that the dust plume was
thick, extensive, and mixed in a deep boundary layer at an altitude of 3–4 km.
Its spatial distribution was modeled to be consistent with typical
spatial patterns of dust emissions. We utilized MODIS-Aqua and Solar Village
AERONET measurements of the aerosol optical depth (AOD) to evaluate the
radiative impact of aerosols. Our results clearly indicated that the
presence of dust particles in the atmosphere caused a significant reduction
in the amount of solar radiation reaching the surface during the dust event.
We also found that dust aerosols have significant impact on the energy and
nutrient balances of the Red Sea. Our results showed that the simulated
cooling under the dust plume reached 100 W m−2, which could have
profound effects on both the sea surface temperature and circulation.
Further analysis of dust generation and its spatial and temporal variability
is extremely important for future projections and for better understanding
of the climate and ecological history of the Red Sea.
Citation: Kalenderski, S., Stenchikov, G., and Zhao, C.: Modeling a typical winter-time dust event over the Arabian Peninsula and the Red Sea, Atmos. Chem. Phys., 13, 1999-2014, doi:10.5194/acp-13-1999-2013, 2013.