17 Nov 2022
17 Nov 2022
Status: this preprint is open for discussion.

The impact of assimilating Aeolus wind data on regional Aeolian dust model simulations using WRF-Chem

Pantelis Kiriakidis1, Antonis Gkikas2, George Papangelis2, Theodoros Christoudias1, Jonilda Kushta1, Emmanouil Proestakis2, Anna Kampouri2, Eleni Marinou2, Eleni Drakaki2, Angela Benedetti3, Michael Rennie3, Christian Retscher5, Anne Grete Straume4, Alexandru Dandocsi5, Jean Sciare1, and Vasilis Amiridis2 Pantelis Kiriakidis et al.
  • 1Climate and Atmosphere Research Center, The Cyprus Institute, 2121 Nicosia, Cyprus
  • 2National Observatory of Athens, Nymphs Hill 118 10, Athens, Greece
  • 3European Centre for Medium Range Weather Forecasts, RG2 9AX, Reading, United Kingdom
  • 4European Space Agency, 2201 AZ, Noordwijk, Netherlands
  • 5European Space Agency, 00044, Frascati, Italy

Abstract. Land-atmosphere interactions govern the process of dust emission and transport. An accurate depiction of these physical processes within numerical weather prediction (NWP) models allows for better estimating the spatial and temporal distribution of the dust burden and the characterisation of source and recipient areas. In the presented study, the ECMWF-IFS (European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecast - Integrated Forecasting System) outputs are used to simulate two-month long periods in the spring and autumn of 2020, focusing on a case study in October. The ECMWF-IFS outputs are produced with and without assimilation of Aeolus quality-assured Rayleigh-clear and Mie-cloudy Horizontal Line of Sight (HLOS) wind profiles. The experiments have been performed over the broader Eastern Mediterranean and Middle East (EMME) region that is frequently subjected to dust transport, as it encompasses some of the most active erodible dust sources. Aerosol and dust-related model outputs (extinction coefficient, optical depth and concentrations) are qualitatively and quantitatively evaluated against ground- and satellite-based observations. Ground-based columnar and vertically resolved aerosol optical properties are acquired through AERONET sun photometers and PollyXT lidar, while near-surface concentrations are taken from EMEP. Satellite-derived vertical dust and columnar aerosol optical properties are acquired through LIVAS and MIDAS, respectively.

Overall, in cases of either high or low aerosol loadings, the model predictive skill is improved when WRF simulations are initialised with IFS meteorological fields in which Aeolus wind profiles have been assimilated. The improvement varies in space and time, with the most significant impact observed for the autumn months in the study region. Comparison with observation datasets saw a remarkable improvement in columnar aerosol optical depths, vertically resolved dust mass concentrations and near-surface particulate concentrations in the assimilated run against the control run. Reductions of model biases, either positive or negative, and an increase in the correlation between simulated and observed values were achieved.

Pantelis Kiriakidis et al.

Status: open (until 29 Dec 2022)

Comment types: AC – author | RC – referee | CC – community | EC – editor | CEC – chief editor | : Report abuse
  • RC1: 'Comment on egusphere-2022-819', Anonymous Referee #1, 06 Dec 2022 reply
    • RC2: 'Reply on RC1', Anonymous Referee #1, 06 Dec 2022 reply

Pantelis Kiriakidis et al.

Pantelis Kiriakidis et al.


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Short summary
With the launch of the Aeolus satellite higher accuracy wind products became available. The research was carried out to validate the assimilated wind products by testing their effect on the WRF-Chem model predictive ability of dust processes. This was carried out for the East Mediterranean and Middle East region for two, two-month long periods in autumn and spring 2020. The use of the assimilated products improved the dust forecasts both quantitatively and qualitatively for the autumn season.