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Long-range transport of Saharan dust and its radiative impact on precipitation forecast over western Europe: a case study during COPS

Chaboureau, Jean-Pierre and Richard, Evelyne and Pinty, Jean-Pierre and Flamant, Cyrille and Di Girolamo, Paolo and Kiemle, Christoph and Behrendt, Andreas and Chepfer, Hélène and Chiriaco, Marjolaine and Wulfmeyer, Volker (2011) Long-range transport of Saharan dust and its radiative impact on precipitation forecast over western Europe: a case study during COPS. Quarterly Journal of the Royal Meteorological Society, 137, pp. 236-251. DOI: 10.1002/qj.719.

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A Saharan dust event affected the Rhine valley in southwestern Germany and eastern France on 1 August 2007 during the Convective and Orographically-induced Precipitation Study (COPS) experiment. Prior to an episode of intense convection, a layer of dry, clean air capped by a moist, dusty layer was observed using Cloud-Aerosol Lidar and Infrared Pathfinder Satellite Observation (CALIPSO), airborne and ground-based lidar observations from North Africa to western Europe. The origin of the different layers was investigated using the regional model Meso-NH. For the purpose of modeling evaluation, a lidar simulator was developed for directly comparing observed and simulated vertical structures of the lidar backscattered signal. Overall, the model reproduced the vertical structure of dust probed at several times by the different lidar systems during its long-range transport. From Lagrangian back trajectories it was found that the dust was mobilized from sources inMauritania six days earlier, while the dry layer subsided over the north Atlantic. Off the Moroccan coasts, the dry layer folded down beneath the dusty airmass and the two-layer structure was advected to the Rhine valley in about two days. By heating the atmosphere, the dust layer changed the static stability of the atmosphere and thus the occurrence of convection. A sensitivity study to the radiative effect of dust indeed shows a better prediction of precipitation when a dust prognostic scheme was used rather than climatology or when dust effects were ignored. This result suggests that dust episodes that occur prior to convective events might be important for quantitative precipitation forecasts.

Document Type:Article
Title:Long-range transport of Saharan dust and its radiative impact on precipitation forecast over western Europe: a case study during COPS
AuthorsInstitution or Email of Authors
Chaboureau, Jean-PierreCNRS, Paris, F
Richard, EvelyneCNRS, Paris, F
Pinty, Jean-PierreCNRS, Paris, F
Flamant, CyrilleCNRS, Paris, F
Di Girolamo, PaoloUniv. degli Studi della Basilicata, Potenza, I
Kiemle, ChristophDLR IPA
Behrendt, AndreasUniv. Hohenheim, Stuttgart
Chepfer, HélèneUniv. Pierre et Marie Curie, Paris, F
Chiriaco, MarjolaineCNRS, Paris, F
Wulfmeyer, VolkerUniv. Hohenheim, Stuttgart
Journal or Publication Title:Quarterly Journal of the Royal Meteorological Society
Refereed publication:Yes
In Open Access:No
In ISI Web of Science:Yes
Page Range:pp. 236-251
Keywords:Saharan dust; convective precipitation; mesoscale modelling
HGF - Research field:Aeronautics, Space and Transport
HGF - Program:Space, Aeronautics
HGF - Program Themes:Earth Observation, ATM and Operation
DLR - Research area:Raumfahrt, Aeronautics
DLR - Program:R EO - Erdbeobachtung, L AO - Air Traffic Management and Operation
DLR - Research theme (Project):R - Vorhaben Atmosphären- und Klimaforschung, L - Climate, Weather and Environment
Location: Oberpfaffenhofen
Institutes and Institutions:Institute of Atmospheric Physics > Lidar
Deposited By: Dr.rer.nat. Christoph Kiemle
Deposited On:06 Dec 2010 14:45
Last Modified:12 Dec 2013 21:06

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