Журнал эффектов и контроля загрязнения

Журнал эффектов и контроля загрязнения
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ISSN: 2375-4397


Role of Meteorology in Major Dust Pollution Outbreak of 20th-29th March 2010 over South Coast of West Africa

Oluleye A*

Pathogens in the dust suspended in the atmosphere are known to cause sickness such as cough and throat problems. An unusual dust episode occurred over the coast of West Africa Gulf of Guinea between March 20th and March 29th in 2010. The occurrence was seen as unusual because of the time of occurrence. The cause of the dust outbreak was investigated using wind data at various pressure levels from ECMWF Re-Analysis (ERA) interim dataset. Data of horizontal visibility from two near the coast locations were used to calculate the dust load during the period. Results show that dust load during the episode was about 15 × 105 kg and 3 × 105 kg per square kilometer over Akure and Lagos respectively. Also that winds at the African Easterly Jet level (core at 750 hPa) suddenly changed from westerly to easterly thereby causing the reversal of Planetary Boundary Layer (PBL) winds. Since the dusts are embedded in within the PBL, wind reversal brought load of dust to the south coast of Gulf of Guinea at very unusual time of the year. The study concludes that watching and monitoring winds at the AEJ level could help in predicting dust pollution outbreak over West Africa.