Forecast errors in dust vertical distributions over Rome (Italy): Multiple particle size representation and cloud contributions

P. Kishcha*, P. Alpert, A. Shtivelman, S. O. Krichak, J. H. Joseph, G. Kallos, P. Katsafados, C. Spyrou, G. P. Gobbi, F. Barnaba, S. Nickovic, C. Pérez, J. M. Baldasano

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Scopus citations


In this study, forecast errors in dust vertical distributions were analyzed. This was carried out by using quantitative comparisons between dust vertical profiles retrieved from lidar measurements over Rome, Italy, performed from 2001 to 2003, and those predicted by models. Three models were used: the four-particle-size Dust Regional Atmospheric Model (DREAM), the older one-particle-size version of the SKIRON model from the University of Athens (UOA), and the pre-2006 one-particle-size Tel Aviv University (TAU) model. SKIRON and DREAM are initialized on a daily basis using the dust concentration from the previous forecast cycle, while the TAU model initialization is based on the Total Ozone Mapping Spectrometer aerosol index (TOMS AI). The quantitative comparison shows that (1) the use of four-particle-size bins in the dust modeling instead of only one-particle-size bins improves dust forecasts; (2) cloud presence could contribute to noticeable dust forecast errors in SKIRON and DREAM; and (3) as far as the TAU model is concerned, its forecast errors were mainly caused by technical problems with TOMS measurements from the Earth Probe satellite. As a result, dust forecast errors in the TAU model could be significant even under cloudless conditions. The DREAM versus lidar quantitative comparisons at different altitudes show that the model predictions are more accurate in the middle part of dust layers than in the top and bottom parts of dust layers.

Original languageEnglish
Article numberD15205
JournalJournal of Geophysical Research
Issue number15
StatePublished - 16 Aug 2007


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