While the effects of aerosols on precipitation have been studied, their effects on more extreme precipitation events like Tropical Cyclones have only been questioned relatively recently. Because of the rarity of the intersection of significant quantities of aerosols and forming/formed tropical cyclones, as well as the possible destruction caused, most experiments about their effects take place in computer models that may not fully simulate the effects of the aerosols. Limitations in satellite sensing make it difficult to track processes and material distributions in hurricanes from afar as well. Hurricane Sandy, a devastating hurricane that formed in October of 2012, may have formed while influenced by relatively smaller but still significant amounts of dust from an African dust event. Since this quantity is different from most heavy polluting scenarios that are simulated, evaluating the extent of the presence, position, and activation of aerosols within this hurricane may give us insight into the potential influences of aerosols in tropical cyclones. MODIS, MISR, AIRS, and CALIPSO data, while having limitations, is analyzed. The extent and possible effects of additional Saharan dust aerosol loading is discussed.
Fontenot, Andrew; el-Askary, Hesham; and Lau, W., "Aerosols, Hurricanes, and their Interactions : A Case Study of Hurricane Sandy" (2014). Student Research Day Abstracts and Posters. 53.