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When Is A Dust Storm Not A Dust Storm: Examining the Reliability of the Storm Events Database for Assessing the Incidence of Dust Storms in the USA
  • Karin Ardon-Dryer,
  • Thomas E. Gill,
  • Daniel Tong
Karin Ardon-Dryer
Texas Tech University

Corresponding Author:[email protected]

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Thomas E. Gill
University of Texas at El Paso
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Daniel Tong
George Mason University
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Dust is a meteorological phenomenon that has a strong impact on the environment, air quality, and human health. In the USA one of the most widely used databases of information on dust events is the Storm Events Database (SED). This project aims to examine the reliability and usefulness of the SED as a source for documenting the climatology of dust storms (DS) across the USA. While SED provides information potentially useful for understanding the frequency, distribution, and importance of DS across the USA, our analysis of DS from 2000 to 2020 shows that many DS were missing while some recorded events of less severe blowing dust (BLDU) in the SED were incorrectly reported as DS. Although the dust records from SED have been widely utilized to study dust related physical and societal issues, the limitations found in this study need to be taken into consideration in future studies.