Sandstorm hits Beijing China

March 16th, 2021 |

Himawari-8 Dust RGB imagery, 0000 UTC 13 March 2021 through 2300 UTC 16 March 2021




The BBC reported that Beijing, the Capitol of China, was hit on 15 March by the worst sandstorm in a decade (link).  The linked-to article noted pollution levels 160 times the recommended limit! The dust and sand that overspread the city originated in Mongolia, and the dust RGB animation above (click here for an animated gif), shows dust appearing on 14 March and spreading rapidly southeast behind a propagating extratropical cyclone.  Multiple mid-layer clouds somewhat interfere with the dust/sand detection (bright red/magenta in the dust RGB shown), but the origins in Mongolia after 0600 UTC on 14 March, and the quick spread south by 1800 UTC on 15 March are apparent.

The toggle below compares Himawari-8 true-color imagery and the dust RGB at 0330 UTC on 15 March.  The dust/sand is apparent in the True Color imagery as well as in the RGB.

Himawari-8 True Color Imagery and Dust RGB, 0330 UTC on March 15 2021 (Click to enlarge)

Himawari-8 imagery is courtesy JMA.  Image processing used Geo2Grid software.  This animation of surface analyses from 13-16 March 2021 (courtesy KMA) was created by Scott Bachmeier.

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