Update: A second Asian haze event began late in the day on Sunday,
April 22nd, persisted on April 23rd before clearing out on Tuesday, April 24. NOAA
Research, Boulder, Colorado confirmed this second event in an April 24th Press Release.
This second haze layer was confined in a layer 7-9 km aloft. It did not mix down to
the ground like the April 12th event.
Second Documented Asian Haze Event - Page, Arizona - April 23rd.
Easter Weekend 2001 - Great Basin Event
Impact on Northern
Arizona and Southern Utah
"So thick was the dust over Easter weekend that visitors to
western U.S. national parks have reportedly been asking rangers where the "fire"
is. Normally only smoke from major fires causes such haze."
Discovery Channel Earth Alert
Figure Caption: The Mongolian desert dust cloud which passed over Boulder, Colorado
during the April 13-18 period apparently also contained carbon monoxide, possibly
entrained as the cloud passed over industrial regions between Asia and the U.S. The figure
shows the vertical profile of the dust particles, as obtained by laser radar (lidar) at
Boulder, and of the profile of carbon monoxide, as obtained with an automated aircraft
flask air sampler. The two measurements were not made simultaneously but about 36 hours
apart (April 15 - pm, April 17 - am). However, both visual and photometer measurements
from the surface at Boulder indicated that the cloud persisted throughout this period with
optical depths of 0.3 to 0.4 at 500 nm wavelength. (Figure and caption - NOAA
Climate Monitoring & Diagnostics Laboratory)
Asian Dust Cloud Over Page, Arizona - April 14, 2001 - Two days after first arrival
Haze at Bryce Canyon on April 14, 2001
Photo by Dave Tarkington
Grand Canyon Without Haze
April 15, 2001
Photo by Alan Piper
Photo by Alan Piper
Page, Arizona Looking East Toward Navajo Mountain
April 16, 2001
Glen Canyon National Recreational Area
April 16, 2001
Looking toward the Kaiparowits Plateau
The April 13 - 15,
2001 Great Basin Event
event has been officially confirmed by:
|Jay R. Herman, Principal Investigator for TOMS Aerosol/UV projects,
NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center|
|Douglas L. Westphal, Naval Research
Laboratory in Monterey, California|
|Gene Feldman, NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center|
|Russ Schnell, Director of Observatory Operations, NOAA, Boulder, Co.|
The front edge of a huge Asian dust cloud reached Page, Arizona at 5 p.m.on Thursday,
April 12th with a dramatic and very distinct frontal boundary. Within hours, a thick
veil of dust covered the entire sky.
The haze layer was initially confined to layers aloft (April 12 and 13th) but by April
14th and 15th as subsidence set in with a developing high pressure system, the main band
of aerosol moved down to lower levels and the local visibility which is normally unlimited
(over 100 miles) was reduced down to 30 miles or less. The trapped hazed layer
persisted in Page, Arizona until the April 16th.
The Asian Cloud at higher levels was eventually tracked into the Midwest region of the
United States. On Wednesday, April 18th, Tucson reported an east wind (backdoor
transport event) that accompanied a pronounced haze event that briefly lowered visibility
to less than 10 miles. This air mass had a long history and was obviously subject to
numerous pollution sources along the way (the Midwest, El Paso, Mexican agricultural
burning) but could it have also contained a small remaining percentage of Asian
haze? If so, it would have represented the last hurrah and the official end of the
impact of the Asian Dust Cloud to Arizona.
A Bishops Ring around the Sun was very prominent from Flagstaff over the weekend
once the dust event started. Bishop's Rings are typically associated with volcanic
ash clouds. - Brian Skiff, Lowell Observatory
Now in its fifth day, slowly clearing in western NV, very high concentrations, fairly
large particles. Really poor visibility in much of the West, even at our mountaintop lab
at Steamboat Springs CO, where they noted 40 micrograms/m^3. Sunlight reduction about 1-3
percent. Leading edge nucleated precip in the upper Midwest over the weekend, passed over
CPC a day or two ago and is now well on its way to visit Paris. Must have been a really
enormous mass overall; seems to considerably exceed the 1998 episode. - Kelly
Redmond, Desert Research Institute, Reno, Nevada
The huge Chinese dust storms that started early in April have continued, essentially
unabated. Meanwhile the dust generated from these early storms has crossed the Pacific and
has caused widespread haze in the western states. I will start off my coverage by
reviewing the dust activity that occurred in China over the past week. Then I will focus
on the observations of dust in the western US. My last report was on 11 April. In this
report I will present in-depth coverage because I feel that these series of dust storms
will be studied for years to come. - Joe Prospero,
On April 12th, Norman Kuring (NASA Goddard: email@example.com) sent a link
to a high resolution Seawifs image showing a heavy band of dust off the west coast of the
On 15 April Ken Sassen ("firstname.lastname@example.org"
<email@example.com>) reports: Subject: Dust over Salt Lake City, Utah. We
have had hazy skys for the past three days, with reduced visibility today. At 2000
UTC today (15 April) my lidars detected aerosols from ~2.0 to 6.3 km MSL. The
strongest backscattering region from 4.2 to 4.7 km MSL produced strong depolarization at
0.532 micron, indicating relatively large nonspherical particles.
Salt Lake City LIDAR
On April 17th, Norman Kuring <firstname.lastname@example.org>
sends two high resolution Seawifs image links for the 15th and 16th of April; these show
dust off the west coast of the US. Concentrations are lower than on the 12th and 13th but
they are significant.
I was out in Death Valley and along the east side of the Sierra
Nevada over the weekend and everyone was puzzled by an extraordinary haze that lasted
through yesterday. The visibility in Death Valley, normally limitless, was down to ten
miles or less. Some folks -- including the National Park Service rangers -- thought it was
from fires somewhere, except there were no large fires burning. I'm curious whether
it was the dust from China. That last picture you sent of the dust behind the cloud front
off the Pacific coast is compelling. - Larry O'Hanlon
Dust Storm Be China's Revenge?
PAGE, Arizona - A yellow haze that has hung over northern Arizona and
southern Utah for nearly a week wasn't
caused by the usual suspects. Not smoke
from a forest fire, not dust from high local winds. The culprit -- a likely
one of late for other scenarios -- is
China, according to the National Weather Service. A monstrous dust storm in
the Gobi Desert 12 days ago is responsible
for the yellowish sky, low visibility and, for Page residents, Sunday's
disappearance of Navajo Mountain from view.
Tues Apr 17
15:00 EST Arizona Daily Sun - Flagstaff AZ
- Mongolian storm pollutes North America - April 18, 2001
- HONG KONG, China - A dust storm from Mongolia has dispersed dust from the Gobi
Desert and industrial pollution from China across a quarter of the mainland United States
and Canada, according to atmospheric scientists. The whitish haze has been seen from
Calgary, Canada in the north, to Arizona in the south and as far east as the ski-fields of
Aspen, Colorado, The weekend levels...
- Wed Apr 18 01:01 EST Turner Broadcasting - Atlanta GA
from China mingles with Chinese pollution across West
- Dust from China mingles with Chinese pollution...
- Wed Apr 18 04:04 EST Lake Tahoe News Network - Carson City NV
- Asian Storm Dusted State
- Talk about a big dust storm. One blew in last week from - get this - the Gobi
Desert in Mongolia. The whitish haze traveled about 7,000 miles to get here and was
detected in northern Arizona by an eagle-eyed meteorologist.
- Wed Apr 18 04:46 EST Phoenix Newspapers, Inc - Phoenix AZ
- Gobi dust coats West with haze
- A haze obstructs the usually clear views of the La Plata Mountains on Monday near
Durango. Scientists and the National Weather Service say the haze is the result of a
massive dust storm over China s Gobi Desert earlier this month as well as pollution
from the Asian continent. The brown cloud is affecting the entire western United States
from the Canadian border to Arizona. By Tom...
- Wed Apr 18 09:46 EST Durango Herald - Durango CO
- CBS News |
Mongolian Haze Floats To U.S. | Wed, 18 Apr 2001 13:20:08 EDT
- "We know that it is having a visible impact across much of the state." Chris
Dan Colorado Department of Health and Environment Mongolian Haze Floats To U.S. Huge Dust
Storm Has Long Reach April 18, 2001 AP An April 10 satellite image of the dust cloud.
(AP) A dust storm from Mongolia is dispersing dust from the Gobi Desert and
industrial pollution from China across a quarter of...
- Wed Apr 18 11:41 EST CBS News - New York NY
- A storm that kicked dust up into the jet stream in Mongolia sends a mustard-colored
cloud across mainland Asia, left, and over the Sea of Japan on April 10. SALT LAKE CITY
(AP) The haze across much of Utah the last few days is a dust cloud that originated
12 days ago in the Gobi Desert of Mongolia and China. Upper-level winds blowing across the
Pacific brought the large cloud...
- Wed Apr 18 16:06 EST USA Today - Arlington
Weather Channel - Top Stories Index
- The dust storm stirred up accidents involving eleven cars on Oregon's Highway 97.
"I knew it was something big - a forest fire, a volcanic eruption, something,"
said Paul Ostapuk, a meteorologist with the Salt River Project in Utah. "We're so
clean and pristine up here, so it's immediately noticeable." Ostapuk was referring to
the huge, mustard-colored dust cloud that moved eastward... Note: The
car pileup stories were inaccurately linked to the Asian Haze
- Wed Apr 18 20:17 EST The Weather Channel - Atlanta GA
- Official NOAA Statement
- CHINA DUST STORM STRIKES USA
- A dust storm that began two weeks ago on the Mongolian-China border
reached the U.S. this week, blanketing areas from Canada to Arizona with a layer of dust.
In Denver and along the foothills of the Rockies, the mountains were obscured by the haze.
Apr 18 - National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
- Official NASA
Goddard Space Flight Center Statement
Despite experts predictions that
the Asian dust storms that originated two weeks ago in Mongolia would not make
it to the Eastern United States,
satellite photos from the SeaWiFS confirms that the dust storms indeed did hit the Eastern
U.S. by storm.
- Fri Apr 20 NASA Goddard Space
dust cloud to travel over N.E.
A massive dust cloud containing minute pieces of rock,
dinosaur fossils and even mummified human remains will be floating
over New England today.
Fri Apr 20 The Boston Globe
Second Asian Dust Storm
April 24, 2001 A small
Asian dust storm, with about one-fifth the haze effect of the previous storm, is passing
Colorado Tuesday. The storm came from the same
region of the China-Mongolia area as the previous storm, which
blanketed Colorado from April 14 to 18.
24 NOAA Research, Boulder, Colorado
When Mongolian Winds Whipped Through the Gobi
Desert, Arizona Got Dusty. Paul Ostapuk thought a band of dark
air extending across the western horizon
looked a bit odd as his plane descended into Page, Ariz., but he had no way of
knowing then just how odd it would turn
out to be.
Thu Apr 26 abcNEWS.com
Conditions from Earth Probe TOMS*
The Perfect Asian Storm
- Climate Monitoring &
- Golden Gate Weather Service's April 2001 Asian Dust Cloud page
ACE-Asia (Asian-Pacific Regional Aerosol Characterization
Field Notes - Chinese Dust Impacts Western US! - April 2001 Event
The Asian Dust Events of April 1998 http://capita.wustl.edu/Asia-FarEast/reports/JGR/AsianDustApril1998Rev000704SubHTML.htm
JPL ground-based backscatter lidar measurements during the April 1998 event
Sven Hedins Account Of the Takla-makan desert, 1895
range transport of mineral dust in the global atmosphere - Joe Prospero
Authored Web Pages
Page Focused Future - Community Development
Appreciating Lake Powell!
Natural History Links
The First Marathon
Story - An Event that Changed the Course of Human History