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West African Dust Outbreaks and the Relationship with North Atlantic Hurricane Activity

Amato T. Evan1 (amatoe@ssec.wisc.edu) Christopher S. Velden1 (chris.velden@ssec.wisc.edu) Andrew K. Heidinger2 (heidinger@ssec.wisc.edu)

1Cooperative Institute for Meteorological Satellite Studies, University of Wisconsin at Madison 2Office of Research and Applications, National Environmental Satellite, Data, and Information Service, NOAA, Madison, Wisconsin, USA.

It has been recently demonstrated from satellite observations that over the last 25 years an inverse relationship exists between North Atlantic hurricane activity and the amount and frequency of African dust transported over the ocean basin. Although there is a theoretical framework for the mechanisms by which these dusty air masses may discourage tropical cyclone genesis and growth, it is still unknown if the climatological connection between dust storms and hurricane activity is direct or by association. Our presentation reviews those observations of dust and tropical cyclone variability, and discusses some of the work needed to fully understand the results. We also examine the observed dust activity for 2006, how this last season compares with previous years, and present some outlooks for next summer.

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