Heliyon new publication: Dust events characterization from visibility, trends and Dust Adversity Index in the Canary Islands for the period 1980–2022

18 June 2024

Dust events characterization from visibility, trends and Dust Adversity Index in the Canary Islands for the period 1980–2022

Abstract

Dust events in the Canary Islands have been documented since the late 19th century. However, during the past few years, several severe dust episodes have occurred in the Canary Islands, resulting in significant impacts on various sectors, such as aviation, air quality, and health, among others. These recent severe events have drawn the attention of both scientists and the general population, raising questions about whether these episodes are now more frequent and more severe. This study analyzes 483 dust events recorded in the Canary Islands over the last 40 years.
Data analysis reveals that the average number of dust event days per year is approximately 24 days, and these events have an average duration of 1.8 days, both of which show a statistically significant decreasing trend over the series. Seasonal examination indicates that events occurring in the first and fourth quarters of the year have twice the duration of those in the other quarters. Furthermore, on an annual basis, events in the first quarter exhibit negative trends in both average and minimum visibilities. This suggests that dust events in the Canary Islands are becoming shorter in duration but more intense in terms of visibility.
In this article, the Dust Adversity Index (DAI) is introduced to objectively compare the severity of events. Finally, anomalies in geopotential have been utilized to determine the prevailing synoptic patterns during dust events. It is evident that the dominant synoptic pattern during the first and fourth quarters of the year consists of a low cut-off system located to the west of the Canary Islands and a high-pressure system to the north of the Iberian Peninsula.

Dust events characterization from visibility, trends and Dust Adversity Index in the Canary Islands for the period 1980–2022
D. Suárez-Molina, E. Cuevas, S. Alonso-Pérez, L. Cana, G. Montero, A. Oliver
Open Access

Published:May 17, 2024

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.heliyon.2024.e31262

Barcelona Dust Regional Center