What is it about?

Several factors are involved in producing the extreme dust outbreak events, which sometimes lead to mineral dust transport to regions far away from its source. The study focused on an exceptional desert dust outbreak episode, in particular on the role of atmospheric circulation transporting high amounts of dust toward Portugal in February 2017.

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Why is it important?

The episode was governed by a variety of complex interactions between surface and atmospheric dynamics. The study highlighted the role played by the regional orography of the North Africa producing mesoscale circulations, namely the airflow convergence and the development of a cyclonic vortex in the lower troposphere. The intense winds near the surface was the main factor controlling the mobilization of mineral dust particles. In addition, a low pressure system approaching from mid-latitudes was fundamental for the long-lasting event, as well as for the transport of desert dust toward Portugal.

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This page is a summary of: How a mesoscale cyclonic vortex over Sahara leads to a dust outbreak in South-western Iberia, Atmospheric Research, February 2021, Elsevier,
DOI: 10.1016/j.atmosres.2020.105302.
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