Development and evaluation of an operational SDS forecasting system for East Asia: CUACE/Dust
Abstract. CUACE/Dust, an operational mesoscale sand and dust storm (SDS) forecasting system for East Asia, has been developed by online coupling a dust aerosol emission scheme and dust aerosol microphysics onto a regional meteorological model with improved advection and diffusion schemes and a detailed Northeast Asia soil erosion database. With improved initial dust aerosol conditions through a 3-DVar data assimilation system, CUACE/Dust successfully forecasted most of the 31 SDS processes in East Asia. A detailed comparison of the model predictions for the 8–12 March SDS process with surface network observations and lidar measurements revealed a robust forecasting ability of the system. The time series of the operationally forecasted dust concentrations for a number of representative stations for the whole spring 2006 (1 March–31 May) were evaluated against surface PM10 monitoring data, showing a good agreement in terms of the SDS timing and magnitudes at and near the source regions where dust aerosols dominate. For the operational forecasts of spring 2006 in East Asia, a TS (threat score) system evaluated the performance of CUACE/Dust against all available observations and rendered a spring averaged TS value of 0.31 for FT1 (24 h forecasts), 0.23 for FT2 (48 h forecasts) and 0.21 for FT3 (72 h forecasts).