The geographical distribution of the EARLINET stations is particularly
suitable for dust observation, with stations located all around the Mediterranean
(from the Iberian Peninsula in the West to the Greece and Bulgaria and Romania in
the East) and in the center of the Mediterranean (Italian stations) where dust
intrusions are frequent, and with several stations in the central Europe where
dust penetrates occasionally.
A suitable observing methodology has been established within the network, based on
Saharan dust alerts distributed to all EARLINET stations. The dust alert is based
on the operational outputs (aerosol dust load) of the DREAM (Dust REgional Atmospheric
Model), and the Skiron models. The alerts are diffused 24 to 36 hours prior to the
arrival of dust aerosols over the EARLINET sites. Runs of measurements longer than
3-hour observations, typical for the EARLINET climatological measurements are
performed at the EARLINET stations in order to investigate the temporal evolution
of the dust events. All aerosol backscatter and extinction profiles related to
observations of Saharan dust layers are collected in the "Saharan dust" category of
the EARLINET database.