9 May 2016 Dust forecast over North Africa: verification with satellite and ground based observations
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Arid regions of North Africa are considered as one of the major dust source. Present study focuses on the forecast of aerosol optical depth (AOD) of dust over different regions of North Africa. NCMRWF Unified Model (NCUM) produces dust AOD forecasts at different wavelengths with lead time upto 240 hr, based on 00UTC initial conditions. Model forecast of dust AOD at 550 nm up to 72 hr forecast, based on different initial conditions are verified against satellite and ground based observations of total AOD during May–June 2014 with the assumption that except dust, presence of all other aerosols type are negligible. Location specific and geographical distribution of dust AOD forecast is verified against Aerosol Robotic Network (AERONET) station observations of total and coarse mode AOD. Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) dark target and deep blue merged level 3 total aerosol optical depth (AOD) at 550 nm and Cloud-Aerosol Lidar with Orthogonal Polarization (CALIOP) retrieved dust AOD at 532 nm are also used for verification. CALIOP dust AOD was obtained by vertical integration of aerosol extinction coefficient at 532 nm from the aerosol profile level 2 products. It is found that at all the selected AERONET stations, the trend in dust AODs is well predicted by NCUM up to three days advance. Good correlation, with consistently low bias (~ ±0.06) and RMSE (~ 0.2) values, is found between model forecasts and point measurements of AERONET, except over one location Cinzana (Mali). Model forecast consistently overestimated the dust AOD compared to CALIOP dust AOD, with a bias of 0.25 and RMSE of 0.40.
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Aditi Singh, Aditi Singh, Sumit Kumar, Sumit Kumar, John P. George, John P. George, } "Dust forecast over North Africa: verification with satellite and ground based observations", Proc. SPIE 9876, Remote Sensing of the Atmosphere, Clouds, and Precipitation VI, 98762I (9 May 2016); doi: 10.1117/12.2223596; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2223596

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