Dust Propagation and Radiation In the Presence of a Low-level Jet in Central China on March 17, 2010

Thursday, 18 December 2014
Bruce Keith McDowell, Organization Not Listed, Washington, DC, United States and Shuhua Chen, University of California Davis, Land, Air and Water Resources, Davis, CA, United States
Suspended dust in the air can directly change the energy budget in the atmosphere and at the surface through scattering and absorption of radiation. Thus, dust can potentially modify the development of weather systems. To explore the dust-radiation effects on weather systems, a dust model was developed based on the Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF) model. The calculations of dust processes in the WRF dust model include emission, advection, boundary layer mixing, cumulus mixing, dust-radiation interaction, wet scavenging, and sedimentation. Due to a high vertical spatial resolution near the surface a time splitting method was applied to the calculation of dust sedimentation to relax the numerical time step.

The “Hexi Corridor” is the historical name given to a string of oases along the northern slope of the Tibetan Plateau that formed a relatively easy transportation route between eastern China and central Asia. As trade developed over the centuries, this route became known as the Silk Road. This corridor also marks the transition from the relatively flat Gobi desert area in northern China to the elevated mountains of the Tibetan Plateau. These mountains present a southern barrier to the paths of dust storms that develop during spring outbreaks of the Mongolian Cyclone. In March of 2010, a series of dust storms developed in the Gobi Desert north of the Hexi Corridor that transported massive amounts of dust eastward to central and northeastern China, Korea and Japan. On March 17 during this event, a low-level jet developed along the northern perimeter of the Plateau, in alignment with upper level winds and the Hexi Corridor. Over the course of the day, a well-defined short-duration dust plume was emitted in the southern Gobi desert area and was transported over 1300 km in a southeast direction, over the Loess Plateau and into the Gansu Province. In this study, the interactions of synoptic conditions with regional topography that led to the development of the low-level jet are evaluated. A dust model based on the Weather Research and Forecasting Model V3.2.1 is used to investigate the interaction of dust and radiation on air temperatures in and around the plume, dust emission and transport, and the resulting regional radiative forcing in the presence of the low-level jet.