IJSRP, Volume 5, Issue 12, December 2015 Edition [ISSN 2250-3153]
Iqbal H. Abd AlKareem
Dust storms are a common atmospheric phenomenon in Iraq especially during spring and summer months. Their frequency of occurrence has increased drastically in the last decade and it is increasing continuously due to many factors including urbanization in areas previously devoted to agriculture, drought, military operations that remove sandy pavements that would otherwise cap dust, and upstream dams on the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers that reduce the water available to Iraq. The aim of this work is to analyze the synoptic situation of a massive dust storm occurred on the first week of July 2009 and covered most of Iraq. TOMS aerosols index and weather maps for three days from 3rd of July to 5th were used for this purpose. Results indicated that the storm was typically caused by Shamal wind. Results also showed patterns of upward surface vertical velocity, downward 850 hPa level vertical velocity, and northwesterly horizontal wind on both pressure levels. The horizontal wind was strongest on 3rd of July and was weakening and shifting eastwards on the following days. It is believed that such patterns may have caused the severity and persistence of the storm.