First Ever Observations of Mineral Dust in Wintertime over Warsaw, Poland

Szczepanik D.M., Ortiz-Amezcua P., Heese B., D’Amico G. and Stachlewska I.S.

Remote Sensing

14(15), 2022, art. 3788, 10.3390/rs14153788

The long-range transport of desert dust over the area of the temperate climate zone is associated with the influx of hot air masses due to the location of the sources of this aerosol in the tropical climate zone. Between 24–26 February 2021, such an aerosol outbreak took place and reached Central Europe. The mean temperature of +11.7 °C was recorded during the event. A comparison of this value to the 20-year (2000–2020) average February temperature for Warsaw (−0.2 °C) indicates the uniqueness of the meteorological conditions. It was the first wintertime inflow of Saharan dust over Warsaw, the presence of which was confirmed by lidar and sun-photometer measurements. The properties of the desert dust layers were obtained; the mean values of the particle depolarization for the fully developed mineral dust layer were 13 ± 3% and 22 ± 4% for 355 and 532 nm, respectively. The aerosol optical thickness was high with average values >0.36 for all wavelengths smaller than 500 nm. The three-modal, aerosol size distribution was dominated by coarse-mode particles, with a visible contribution of accumulation-mode particles. It suggests the possible presence of other aerosol types.