Report on the wmo sand and Dust Storm Warning, Advisory and Assessment System (sds-was)

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Report on the WMO Sand and Dust Storm Warning, Advisory

and Assessment System (SDS-WAS)

Soon-Ung Park

Center for Atmospheric and Environmental Modeling, Seoul, Korea

  1. Status of the WMO SDS-WAS

Since 60th Executive Council of WMO welcomed the development of SDS-WAS Asia Node, in June, 2008, two regional nodes (N-A, M-E and E node in Spain, Asia Node in China) were established.

The mission of the SDS-WAS is to enhance the ability of countries to deliver timely and quality Sand and Dust Storm forecasts, Observations, information and knowledge to users through an international partnership of research and operational communities.

The main objectives are to provide a community service by providing user communities forecasts, observations and information on the SDS through regional centers using WIS and WWW and identifying and improving SDS products through consultation with the operational and user communities, improvement of SDS forecast model by enhancing operational SDS forecasts through technology transfer from research and improving forecasting and observation technology through coordinated international research, capacity building by building capacity of relevant countries to utilize SDS observations, forecasts and products for meeting societal needs, building bridges between SDS-WAS and other communities.

In the second half of 2008, the SDS-WAS implementation plan was drafted and discussed by regional steering groups of the two nodes.

In November 2008 the first WMO SDS-WAS Asia node steering group meeting was held in Beijing China to discuss the way forward for the SDS-WAS implementation plan. It was recommended the following action plan.

  1. Integrated observations : promote exchange of aerosol observation (PM10 and Lidar) in near real time (1-3 hr)

  2. SDS forecasting and analysis

  • Multi-model quantitative comparison through display on the SDS-WAS region node website

  • SDS model comparison using case studies of past SDS events

  • Link to home site of each model on the website

  • Develop a standardized verification methodology

  1. SDS user interface

  • Prepare a list of SDS forecast and analysis products and a guide for users and place on the website

  • Fill gaps in SDS product awareness and delivery in all parts of Asian region

In November 2008, the SDS-WAS steering committee for the NA-ME-E node met for the first time to discuss the way forward for the SDS implementation. It was recommended that in the second half of 2009 the dust-related monitoring data and forecast products from various regional node partners are daily exchanged. Spain as the host country for the node activities is establishing a dedicated portal for that purpose.

To implement the action plan proposed by the first meeting of the Regional Steering Group of the WMO SDS-WAS Asia Node, Workshop on the Implementation of the WMO SDS-WAS Asia Node was held in Seoul, Korea in October 2009, the Korea Meteorological Administration (KMA) and the Center for Atmospheric and Environmental Modeling in Seoul were hosting and organizing the WMO SDS-WAS Asia node Workshop in Seoul Korea. The key objective of the workshop was to discuss implementation of the action plan recommended by the 1st meeting of SDS-WAS Asia node Steering Group.

The workshop includes topics on;

  • Asian aerosol observation network

  • SDS forecasting and verification

  • SDS user interface in Asia

  • Collaborative activities on SDS in Southwest Asia

After this workshop, 2nd Regional Steering Group of WMO SDS-WAS Asia Node meeting was held at Seoul National University, Seoul Korea. It was recommended that the following action plan. A small ad-hoc working group from CMA, JMA and KMA is to be formed to discuss following including;

  1. Integrated observation network in the Asia region

  • Core parameters of aerosol observations (PM10, AOD and Lidar) in near real time

  • Core observation sites in Asia

  • Data exchange frequency

  • Format of data exchange etc.

  1. SDS-WAS Asia Node common portal development

  • Define observations and model products to be displaced in real time

  • Harmonize and standardize model parameters, maps and color scales to be displaced in the SDS common user website

  • Link to the key websites of the partners in the region and other regional centers

  1. Model inter-comparison

  • To define parameters, model domains and a inter-comparison period

  • Present operational model of ADAM in KMA, CUACE in China and Masingar in JMA should be participated in the model inter-comparison.

  1. Overview of SDS-WAS achievements in 2009/2010

    1. SDS-WAS Asia Node

The joint activities in the years 2009/2010 of the Asia node consisted mainly in collaboration of three countries to carry on the action plan proposed in 2nd Regional Steering Group meeting in Seoul Korea. Major accomplishments are the establishments of three ad-hoc working groups consisted of experts from three countries. 1st ad-hoc working group discussed various aspects of integrated observation network in the Asian region including core parameters of aerosol observations (surface PM10, visibility, AOD, Lidar, satellite) in near real time at core observation sites in Asia. The observed data are displaced in the SDS web portal of each country.

The second ad-hoc working group worked for the construction of the SDS web portal on observations, the model products to be displaced in the real time and harmonization and standardization model parameters, maps and color scales. CAM, JMA and KMA constructed their own SDS web portal that includes near real time updated information on observations (surface PM10, satellite images, visibilities), and dust forecasts and warnings. The Asia node portal templates are available at

  • for China

  • for Korea

  • (observation)

  • (prediction) for Japan

The third ad-hoc working group worked for the model inter-comparison to build up a new SDS forecast model in the Asian domain in near future. ADAM in Korea, CUACE/Dust in China and Masingar in Japan were participated in the model inter-comparison for the dust event occurred in May 2008. Extended case studies will continue next several years.

A joint research on dust and sand storm was organized by National Institute of Meteorological Research in KMA: The 3rd Meeting of Working Group for Joint Research on Dust and Sand Storm (DSS) among Mongolia, China, Korea and Japan was held in Seogwipo, Korea, 8-10 Nov. 2010. This meeting was to present the working group’s activities on monitoring and analysis and chemical composition of dust aerosol and modeling results for a chosen case of dust storm occurred in May 2008, in Asia.

Scientific research by the partners in the Asia node had been done for the improvement of the presently available operational dust forecasting models in Asia. The ADAM mdoel was improved to the ADAM2 by improving dust emission conditions with the use of satellite NDVI data and the model verification method has been developed using the hit rate (HR), false alarm rate (FAR) and the scaled Hanssen and Kuiper Index. A data assimilation technique with the observed dust concentration was developed and used in the Masingar model.

Future activities on SDS-WAS Asia node will include

  • Development of a regular Asian dust monitoring network in Asia including surface PM10 concentration, lidar measurements and satellite measurement

  • Development of a data assimilation technique using the above mentioned network data

  • Development of an unified aerosol forecast model including anthropogenic aerosols in Asia by improving and making inter-comparison of presently used operational dust forecasting models.

    1. SDS-WAS NA-ME-E Node

The joint activities in the years 2009/2010 of the regional node of the Sand and Dust Storm Advisory and Assessment System for Northern Africa, Middle East and Europe (abbreviated henceforth SDS-NA) consisted mainly in coordination of scientific activities around dust forecasting. A major achievement is the construction of the SDS web portal and the associated infrastructure at the Barcelona Supercomputing Center in cooperation with the Spanish Meteorological Service (AEMET). Scientific work and achievements with respect to advancing dust modeling was undertaken by the partners represented in the Regional Steering Group for the North African Node in various aspects. The matter of dust forecasting is at this stage still a major scientific problem, which requires additional research before it can be transformed in an operational service.

Several meetings were organized by the partners: A ESA/WMO expert consultation meeting for SDS-WAS was held in Barcelona 8/9 Sept. 2009; A Training Course on Satellite Meteorology and Atmospheric Sand and Dust on WMO SDS-WAS products was held in Barcelona, 8-19 Nov, 2010. Both major meetings had considerable international participation from Africa, Europe and North America.

An increase in the observational capacity has been envisaged through installation of new sun photometers in Northern Africa (framework Aeronet), a better utilization of the lidar retrievals of vertical profiles of aerosol (cooperation with EARLINET/GALION) and an incorporation of PM10 aerosol measurements (EG Spanish air quality network). AEMET is currently in the process of shipping with the help of WMO sun photometers to Morocco and Tunisia. The dust and aerosol observations which may be used to validate and help dust forecasting are to a large extent non-operational instruments, held by a variety of research, higher education or air pollution monitoring instruments. WMO guided observations of visibility and those assembled under the frame of GAW have been used in the frame of SDS-NA .

The web portal ( of the regional node combines various resources with respect to experimental dust forecasting. This includes near real time updated information on

  • Harmonized links to the modeling centers having in place dust forecast

  • Near real time satellite images, containing information on aerosol optical depth over Northern Africa from MSG, MODIS and Parasol

  • Maps with recent visibility data in the region of interest

  • Links to meetings and other resources of relevance for the dust forecasting and scientific achievements on dust science

Scientific work by the partners in the regional steering group concern among other subjects dust trends in the last decades (BSC-DREAM model), evaluation of different dust models in joint framework of Aerocom, initial visualization of BSC-DREAM, ECMWF and INCA model results for the study year of 2006 via the Aerocom web interface, assimilation of satellite data for the purpose of improved dust forecast in the frame of the EU MACC project.

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