Open Access Digital Repository of Ministry of Earth Sciences, Government of India

Re-examination of the i-5 dust storm

Kaplan, ML and Vellore, RK and Lewis, JM and Underwood, SJ and Pauley, PM and Martin, JE and Krishnan, R (2013) Re-examination of the i-5 dust storm. Journal of Geophysical Research D: Atmospheres, 118 (2). pp. 627-642.

Full text not available from this repository. (Request a copy)


The infamous dust storm over the thanksgiving holiday of 1991 that led to loss of life from numerous automobile accidents on Interstate 5 (I-5) has been re-examined. Pauley et al. (1996) conducted an earlier investigation of this dust storm following the tenets of Danielsen's paradigm-a paradigm that links the tropopause fold phenomenon and a balanced thermally indirect circulation about the upper level jet stream. However, a cursory examination of mesoscale structures in the storm from the North American Regional Reanalysis (NARR) indicated evidence of a low-level unbalanced thermally direct circulation that demanded further investigation using a high-resolution Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF) model simulation. Principal results from the present study follow: (1) Although the model simulation showed evidence of a weak indirect circulation in the upper troposphere in support of the Danielsen's paradigm, the dynamic control of the storm stemmed from the lower tropospheric mesoscale response to geostrophic imbalance. (2) A lower tropospheric direct circulation led to mass/temperature adjustments that were confirmed by upper air observations at locations in proximity to the accident site, and (3) boundary layer deepening and destabilization due to these mesoscale processes pinpointed the timing and location of the dust storm. Although the present study does not underestimate the value of analyses that focus on the larger/synoptic scales of motion, it does bring to light the value of investigation that makes use of the mesoscale resources in order to clarify synoptic-mesoscale interactions.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: Copyright of this article belongs to American Geophysical Union.
Uncontrolled Keywords: Cursory examination; Dynamic controls; Geostrophic imbalance; Mesoscale process; Mesoscale structure; Model simulation; Upper troposphere; Weather research and forecasting models, Accidents; Troposphere; Weather forecasting, Storms, accident; boundary layer; dust storm; jet stream; mesoscale meteorology; mortality; reconstruction; tropopause; troposphere; weather forecasting, North America
Subjects: Meteorology and Climatology
Depositing User: IITM Library
Date Deposited: 10 Jun 2014 09:16
Last Modified: 10 Jun 2014 09:16

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item