Saharan Dust Transport Predictability Utilizing a Subseasonal Experiment (SubX) Model

S. J. Kramer, B. P. Kirtman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Prediction of Saharan dust customarily requires complex aerosols models and observations. A previous study of the Miami, Florida dust record in conjunction to reanalysis data discovered a possible source of subseasonal predictability using a dust-transport-efficiency (DTE) index. Development of the Subseasonal Forecast Experiment (SubX) has expanded global forecast products; producing multi-model ensemble forecasts out to 45 days. Retrospective forecast data from the Community Climate System Model version 4.0 (CCSM4) is used in direct comparison to National Centers for Environmental Prediction (NCEP) reanalysis to evaluate the CCSM4 subseasonal forecast and DTE index prediction skill of weekly dust variability. Successful prediction of weekly dust transport using the DTE index is variable year-to-year. The DTE most successfully predicts dust when there is high variability in the tropical winds, likely due to a fluctuating subtropical high, and is not dependent on the overall mean flow or total dust mass transported. The CCSM4 SubX retrospective forecast well represents North Atlantic meteorology out to week-3 in both mean flow and variability. Dust transport can be predicted using the DTE index and CCSM4 SubX retrospective forecasts at week-1 leads to the same success as contemporaneous NCEP reanalysis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere2020JD033802
JournalJournal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres
Issue number7
StatePublished - Apr 16 2021
Externally publishedYes


  • aerosol transport
  • CCSM4 Subseasonal Forecast Model (SubX)
  • dust transport efficiency
  • predictability
  • Saharan dust
  • tropical Atlantic meteorology

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Atmospheric Science
  • Geophysics
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Space and Planetary Science


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