11th Conference on Satellite Meteorology and Oceanography


Desert dust storms as detected by Meteosat and SeaWiFS multispectral imagery

Steven D. Miller, NRL, Monterey, CA; and T. F. Lee

Visibility plays a key role in deterimining the timing, safety, and overall effectiveness of tactical exercises carried out by the United States Navy in strategic locations throughout the world. Strong wind storms blowing across sparsely vegetated desert terrain carry massive plumes of dust airborne for hundreds and sometimes thousands of kilometers. These storms not only comprimise scene visibility but also pose a potentially serious safety hazard in their ability to damage jet engines. As such, there exists a pressing need for dust detection/enhancement and tracking on the synoptic scale. This study summarizes recent efforts by the Naval Research Laboratory (NRL) to provide such a capability by enlisting narrowband multispectral imager data from the Meteosat-7 VISSR and Sea-Viewing Wide Field-of-view Sensor (SeaWiFS). This combination of geostationary and polar-orbiting platorms provides complimentary information in terms of spatial, spectral, and temporal coverage of developing dust events and provides the operational user with a means of identifying and predicting the progression of these storms both over water and to a limited capacity over land. A case study involving a Saharan dust storm that occurred on February 13, 2001 is presented and relevant features are discussed.

Poster Session 1, Environmental Applications
Monday, 15 October 2001, 9:45 AM-11:15 AM

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