EGU General Assembly 2023
© Author(s) 2023. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Meridional Saharan dust transport towards higher latitudes

György Varga1,2, Ágnes Rostási3,4, Adrienn Csávics1,2, Pavla Dagsson-Waldhauserova5,6, Outi Meinander7, and Fruzsina Gresina1,8
György Varga et al.
  • 1Research Centre for Astronomy and Earth Sciences, Budapest, Hungary (
  • 2Department of Meteorology, Eötvös University, Budapest, Hungary
  • 3MTA-PE Air Chemistry Research Group, Veszprém, Hungary
  • 4Air Chemistry Research Group, University of Pannonia, Veszprém, Hungary
  • 5Faculty of Environmental and Forest Sciences, Agricultural University of Iceland, Reykjavik, Iceland
  • 6Faculty of Environmental Sciences, Department of Water Resources and Environmental Modeling, Czech University of Life Sciences Prague, Prague, Czech Republic
  • 7Finnish Meteorological Institute, Helsinki, Finland
  • 8Geographical Institute, Research Centre for Astronomy and Earth Sciences, Budapest, Hungary

Over the past decades, an increasing number of Saharan dust storm events have been identified across Europe, using satellite measurements and imagery, numerical simulation data, meteorological analyses, air mass dispersion trajectories and surface observations, thus excluding subjective forcing factors. Both the frequency and intensity of dust storm events have been increasing over the last decade.
Saharan dust reached the Carpathian Basin at least 250 times between 1979 and 2022. The episodes of intense dust deposition in Hungary clearly showed the effect of the downwelling of high-latitude jet streams, leading to (1) extreme weather events and intense dust storms in the Atlas region and (2) increased atmospheric meridionality, which transported the large amounts of dust northwards.
To identify such events, we started our research in the North Atlantic region, where we identified 15 Saharan dust storm events in Iceland between 2008 and 2020, two of which were also surface sampled. The scope of these studies has now been extended to 1980 to 2022 to identify further events. Laboratory analyses of the sampled dust material have found abundant quartz particles larger than 100 µm, indicating that large dust particles can sometimes travel thousands of kilometres.
Similar studies have been initiated in the region of Finland, where 59 Saharan dust storm events were identified between 1980 and 2022. Note that we also found 22 dust storm events from the Aral-Caspian region and 5 episodes with Middle Eastern sources.
The research was supported by the NRDI projects FK138692 and RRF-2.3.1-21-2021.

How to cite: Varga, G., Rostási, Á., Csávics, A., Dagsson-Waldhauserova, P., Meinander, O., and Gresina, F.: Meridional Saharan dust transport towards higher latitudes, EGU General Assembly 2023, Vienna, Austria, 24–28 Apr 2023, EGU23-8920,, 2023.