Impact of drought on dust storms: Case study over Southwest Iran

Mostafa Javadian, Ali Behrangi, Armin Sorooshian

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

49 Scopus citations


Dust storms are common meteorological events in arid and semi-arid regions, particularly in Southwest Iran (SWI). Here we study the relation between drought events in Iraq and dust storms in SWI between 2003 and 2018. The HYSPLIT model showed that central and southern Iraq are the main dust sources for SWI. Mean annual aerosol optical depth (AOD) analysis demonstrated that 2008 and 2009 were the dustiest years since 2003 and there is an increased frequency of summertime extreme dust events in the years 2008 and 2009. The Standardized Precipitation Evapotranspiration Index revealed that drought in Iraq significantly affects dust storms in Iran. Similarly, dramatic desiccation of Iraq wetlands has contributed to increasing fall dust events in SWI. AOD in SWI is highly correlated (-0.76) with previous-month vapor pressure deficit (VPD) over Iraq, demonstrating the potential of VPD for dust event forecasting.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number124029
JournalEnvironmental Research Letters
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 6 2019


  • Aerosol optical depth (aod)
  • Drought
  • Dust
  • Hysplit
  • Modis
  • Vapor pressure deficit (vpd)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • General Environmental Science
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


Dive into the research topics of 'Impact of drought on dust storms: Case study over Southwest Iran'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this