The geographical distribution of the EARLINET stations is particularlysuitable 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 SDS-WAS (Sand and Dust Storm- Warning and Advisory System of WMO), 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.