Dust storms and cyclone tracks over the arid regions in east Asia in spring

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Abstract

[1] It has been argued that frequent dust storm developments in east Asia in spring are closely related to midlatitude synoptic-scale cyclone activity. This study investigates the relationship of springtime dust storms and other dust-related phenomena in east Asia to the tracks and locations of synoptic-scale cyclones by conducting statistical analyses of surface weather data, cyclone track data, and satellite data. Through these analyses, we discuss the role of cyclone activity on dust weather phenomena in east Asia. In the Gobi Desert and northeast China regions, strong cyclonic winds associated with strong cyclones are responsible for the dust weather developments, and the dust weather preferably occurs in the southwestern sector of the cyclone, where frontal activity and cold air action are significant. Despite the extremely dry climate, the formation of frontal cloud systems is evident particularly over the Gobi Desert, which will contribute to the higher frequency of severer dust weather. On the other hand, in the Taklamakan Desert severe dust weather (i.e., dust storm) is not so much affected by synoptic-scale cyclones, but weaker dust phenomena such as dust haze occur around the centers of cyclones that do not propagate farther eastward out of the Taklamakan region.

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