5.5 Characteristics of Dust Storms across South-Central Arizona

Wednesday, 9 January 2019: 11:30 AM
North 224A (Phoenix Convention Center - West and North Buildings)
Jaret W. Rogers, NWSFO, Phoenix, AZ; and S. Meltzer and P. Iniguez

Dust storms are one of many weather hazards that affect the lower deserts of southern and central Arizona, especially during the summer months. Often generated by thunderstorms, outflow boundaries can travel hundreds of miles across the desert floor and create a wall of dust, significantly reducing visibility and causing treacherous travel conditions, in addition to significant air quality and public health hazards. The general characteristics of dust storms across Arizona are well-documented, occurring during the late afternoon and early evening during the early-mid summer. However, the specific environments and storm-scale characteristics related to dust storms during the North American Monsoon have yet to be quantified. This study will seek to improve the understanding of the mesoscale environmental characteristics by utilizing a variety of datasets to assist operational forecasters anticipate dust storms prior to their formation. Additionally, identifying attributes of outflow boundaries associated with dust storms using WSR-88D radar data may improve real-time forecaster awareness to the severity of an event. Finally, storm reports and local observations will be included in an analysis of Arizona dust storms to complement existing findings.
- Indicates paper has been withdrawn from meeting
- Indicates an Award Winner