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Volume 18, issue 5 | Copyright

Special issue: Environmental changes and hazards in the Dead Sea region (NHESS/ACP/HESS/SE...

Atmos. Chem. Phys., 18, 3203-3221, 2018
https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-18-3203-2018
© Author(s) 2018. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Research article 06 Mar 2018

Research article | 06 Mar 2018

New insights into the vertical structure of the September 2015 dust storm employing eight ceilometers and auxiliary measurements over Israel

Leenes Uzan1,2, Smadar Egert1, and Pinhas Alpert1 Leenes Uzan et al.
  • 1Department of Geophysics, School of Geosciences, Raymond and Beverly Sackler Faculty of Exact Sciences, Tel Aviv University, Tel Aviv, Israel
  • 2The Israeli Meteorological Service, Beit Dagan, Israel

Abstract. On 7 September 2015, an unprecedented and unexceptional extreme dust storm struck the eastern Mediterranean (EM) basin. Here, we provide an overview of the previous studies and describe the dust plume evolution over a relatively small area, i.e., Israel. This study presents vertical profiles provided by an array of eight ceilometers covering the Israeli shore, inland and mountain regions. We employ multiple tools including spectral radiometers (Aerosol Robotic Network – AERONET), ground particulate matter concentrations, satellite images, global/diffuse/direct solar radiation measurements and radiosonde profiles. The main findings reveal that the dust plume penetrated Israel on 7 September from the northeast in a downward motion to southwest. On 8 September, the lower level of the dust plume reached 200m above ground level, generating aerosol optical depth (AOD) above 3 and extreme ground particulate matter concentrations up to ∼ 10000µm m−3. A most interesting feature on 8 September was the very high variability in the surface solar radiation in the range of 200–600W m−2 (22 sites) over just a distance of several hundred kilometers in spite of the thick dust layer above. Furthermore, 8 September shows the lowest radiation levels for this event. On the following day, the surface solar radiation increased, thus enabling a late (between 11:00 and 12:00UTC) sea breeze development mainly in the coastal zone associated with a creation of a narrow dust layer detached from the ground. On 10 September, the AOD values started to drop down to ∼1.5, and the surface concentrations of particulate matter decreased as well as the ceilometers' aerosol indications (signal counts) although Cloud-Aerosol Lidar and Infrared Pathfinder Satellite Observation (CALIPSO) revealed an upper dust layer remained.

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The extraordinarily extreme dust storm of September 2015 is analyzed using an array of eight ceilometers and auxiliary measurements, revealing the dust plume penetration, ground coverage and gradual dispersion in the first kilometer above Israel. This research emphasized the importance of ceilometer networks as an essential tool in the analysis of meteorological phenomena and aerosol transport as being the most valuable in the mesoscale.
The extraordinarily extreme dust storm of September 2015 is analyzed using an array of eight...
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