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Modelling dust transport over central eastern Australia

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  24 May 2006

Lance M. Leslie
Affiliation:
School of Meteorology, University of Oklahoma, Norman, Oklahoma, USA
Milton S. Speer
Affiliation:
Bureau of Meteorology, Sydney, Australia School of Mathematics, The University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia Email: lmleslie@ou.edu
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Abstract

A ten-year climatology has been prepared of dust days for central eastern Australia, from January 1995 to February 2004, using reports from the Australian Bureau of Meteorology's observational network. It was found that there had been a total of 55 dust days during this ten-year period. Of these, 43 dust days were associated with cold fronts: 24 were classified as embedded in the zonal westerlies in the Great Australian Bight (GAB) or in westerlies derived from low pressure systems in the GAB, whereas the remaining 19 were associated with cold fronts over eastern Australia where high pressure systems in the GAB generated strong post-frontal south to southeast winds. Three detailed case studies of dust storm generation and transport were modelled using a sophisticated coupled wind erosion prediction system. The model predictions in all three cases were found to be broadly consistent both with satellite images highlighting dust and the synoptic observations that reported dust. Antecedent land surface conditions are found to be critically important in generating dust, and their representation in the integrated prediction system is subsequently important in providing skilful model predictions of dust transport.

Type
Research Article
Copyright
2006 Royal Meteorological Society

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