02 May 2018
 | 02 May 2018
Status: this preprint was under review for the journal ACP but the revision was not accepted.

February 2017 extreme Saharan dust outbreak in the Iberian Peninsula: from lidar-derived optical properties to evaluation of forecast models

Alfonso J. Fernández, Michaël Sicard, Maria J. Costa, Juan L. Guerrero-Rascado, José L. Gómez-Amo, Francisco Molero, Rubén Barragán, Daniele Bortoli, Andrés E. Bedoya-Velásquez, María P. Utrillas, Pedro Salvador, María J. Granados-Muñoz, Miguel Potes, Pablo Ortiz-Amezcua, José A. Martínez-Lozano, Begoña Artíñano, Constantino Muñoz-Porcar, Rui Salgado, Roberto Román, Francesc Rocadenbosch, Vanda Salgueiro, José A. Benavent-Oltra, Alejandro Rodríguez-Gómez, Lucas Alados-Arboledas, Adolfo Comerón, and Manuel Pujadas

Abstract. An unprecedented extreme Saharan dust event was registered in winter time from 20 to 23 February 2017 over the Iberian Peninsula (IP). We report on aerosol optical properties observed under this extreme dust outbreak through remote sensing (active and passive) techniques. For that, EARLINET (European Aerosol Research LIdar NETwork) lidar and AERONET (AErosol RObotic NETwork) Sun-photometer Cimel CE 318 measurements are used. The sites considered are: Barcelona (41.38º N, 2.17º E), Burjassot (39.51º N, 0.42º W), Cabo da Roca (38.78º N, 9.50º W), Évora (38.57º N, 7.91º W), Granada (37.16º N, 3.61º W) and Madrid (40.45º N, 3.72º W).

In general, large aerosol optical depths (AOD) and low Ångström exponents (AE) are observed. An AOD of 2.0 at 675 nm is reached in several stations. Maximum values of AOD675 of 2.5 are registered in Évora. During and around the peak of AOD675, AEs close to 0 are measured. With regard to vertically-resolved aerosol optical properties, particle backscatter coefficients as high as 1.5∙10−5 m−1 sr−1 at 355 nm are recorded at every lidar stations. Mean lidar ratios are found in the range 40–55 sr at 355 nm and 34–61 sr at 532 nm during the event inside the dust layer. Mean particle and volume depolarization ratios are found to be very consistent between lidar stations. They range 0.19–0.31 and 0.12–0.26 respectively. The optical properties are also found very stable with height in the dust layer. Another remarkable aspect of the event is the limited height of the dust transport which is found between the ground and 5 km. Our vertically-resolved aerosol properties are also used to estimate the performances of two dust models, namely BSC-DREAM8b and NMMB/BSC-Dust, in order to evaluate their forecast skills in such intense dust outbreaks. We found that forecasts provided by the NMMB/BSC-Dust show a better agreement with observations than the ones from BSC-DREAM8b. The BSC-DREAM8b forecasts (24 h) present a large underestimation during the event. No clear degradation of the prognostics is appreciated in 24, 48, 72 h except for the Barcelona station.

Alfonso J. Fernández et al.

Status: closed
Status: closed
AC: Author comment | RC: Referee comment | SC: Short comment | EC: Editor comment
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Status: closed
Status: closed
AC: Author comment | RC: Referee comment | SC: Short comment | EC: Editor comment
Printer-friendly Version - Printer-friendly version Supplement - Supplement

Alfonso J. Fernández et al.

Alfonso J. Fernández et al.


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