Parya Broomandi1,12, Kaveh Mohammadpour  2,3, Dimitris G. Kaskaoutis4, Aram Fathian  5,6,7, Sabur F. Abdullaev8, Vladimir A. Maslov8, Amirhossein Nikfal9, Ali Jahanbakhshi10, Bakhyt Aubakirova1, Jong Ryeol Kim This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.1, Alfrendo Satyanaga1, Alireza Rashki11, Nick Middleton13

1 Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, School of Engineering and Digital Sciences, Nazarbayev University, Nur-Sultan 010000, Kazakhstan
2 Department of Climatology, Faculty of Geographical Sciences, Kharazmi University, Tehran, Iran
3 Climate Change Technology Transfer to Developing Countries Group (SSPT-PVS), Department of Sustainability, Italian National Agency for New Technologies Energy and Sustainable Development, ENEA, C. R. Casaccia, 00123 Rome, Italy
4 Institute for Environmental Research and Sustainable Development, National Observatory of Athens, 15236 Athens, Greece
5 UNESCO Chair on Coastal Geo-Hazard Analysis, Research Institute for Earth Sciences, Tehran, Iran
6 Neotectonics and Natural Hazards Institute, RWTH Aachen University, Aachen, Germany
7 Water, Sediment, Hazards, and Earth-surface Dynamics (waterSHED) Lab, Department of Geoscience, University of Calgary, Canada
8 Department of Physical Atmosphere, Physical-Technical Institute, Academy of Sciences of Republic of Tajikistan, 734063, Dushanbe, Tajikistan
9 Atmospheric Science and Meteorological Research Centre (ASMRC), Tehran, Iran
10 School of Architecture, Building and Civil Engineering, Loughborough University, Loughborough, UK
11 Department of desert and arid zones management, Ferdowsi University of Mashhad, Mashhad, Iran
12 Department of Chemical Engineering, Masjed-Soleiman Branch, Islamic Azad University, Masjed-Soleiman, Iran
13 St Anne’s College, University of Oxford, Oxford OX2 6HS, UK

Received: September 1, 2022
Revised: December 6, 2022
Accepted: January 3, 2023

 Copyright The Author(s). This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 4.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are cited.

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Broomandi, P., Mohammadpour, K., Kaskaoutis, D.G., Fathian, A., Abdullaev, S.F., Maslov, V.A., Nikfal, A., Jahanbakhshi, A., Aubakirova, B., Kim, J.R., Satyanaga, A., Rashki, A., Middleton, N. (2023). A Synoptic- and Remote Sensing-based Analysis of a Severe Dust Storm Event over Central Asia. Aerosol Air Qual. Res.


  • A severe dust storm blanketed Central Asia on 3–4 November 2021.
  • The prevailing high-pressure system caused a massive dust storm.
  • This unique dust-storm event reduced horizontal visibility.
  • Dust emitted mainly from Moiynkum, Kyzylorda, and eastern Kyzylkum deserts.


A severe dust storm blanketing Central Asia on 3-4 November 2021 was investigated employing satellite remote-sensing, synoptic meteorological observations, reanalysis and HYSPLIT back-trajectories. The prevailing meteorological conditions showed an intensification of air subsidence over eastern Kazakhstan, featured in a typical omega-blocking system over the region and two troughs to its west and east axis, one day before the dust storm. The prevailing high-pressure system and temperature gradients over Kazakhstan modulated the dominant anticyclonic wind pattern generated from the south Balkhash basin toward the Caspian Sea, causing a huge dust storm that covered the southern half of Kazakhstan and large parts of Uzbekistan, Tajikistan and Turkmenistan. The dust storm originated in the steppes of southern Kazakhstan by violent downdraft winds. Initially it swept over eastern parts and then the whole of Uzbekistan, reaching the Caspian Sea in the west. Meteorological measurements and HYSPLIT back-trajectories at selected sites in Central Asia (Turkmenabat, Khujand and Tashkent) showed a remarkable dust impact that reduced temperature (by 2-4°C) and visibility to below 1 km at different periods, as the thick dust plume expanded in various directions. The extremely high PM concentrations (PM10 > 10,000 μg m-3 in Tashkent) could endanger both human health and the environment, especially in a region suffering from high susceptibility to wind erosion and significant land degradation and desertification. Effective and immediate stabilising measures to control wind erosion in vulnerable areas of Central Asia are warranted.

Keywords: Atmospheric circulation, Dust storms, HYSPLIT, Backward trajectory, Tashkent

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