About the service

We provide daily dust forecasts for the following 72 hours based on our in-house BSC dust model (MONARCH), which runs operationally 7 days a week, 365 days a year. Our model incorporates online parameterisations of all the significant phases of the atmospheric dust cycle. It covers the main dust source areas in Northern Africa and the Middle East and the main dust transport routes and deposition zones from the Equator to the Scandinavian Peninsula.

Why is this service relevant?

The impact of mineral dust on the climate, ecosystems and air quality represents a major scientific and societal issue. Dust particles can degrade air quality and negatively affect some economic activities, particularly aviation, due to decreased visibility, solar energy generation, and dust deposition on the surface of photovoltaic modules, among others. Moreover, sand and dust storms are expected to become more frequent and intense due to climate change and land degradation.

The Barcelona Dust Regional Center provides timely and high-quality sand and dust storm forecasts, observations, information and knowledge to different users, including air quality national management officers in Southern Europe, private aviation stakeholders providing services in Northern Africa and the Middle East, and experimental research communities, such as EARLINET.

Some of the applications of this service include:

  • Transportation: Flight and traffic management strategies, visibility forecasting for air operations, aircraft maintenance planning, and assessment of impacts on ground transportation.


  • Solar energy: Power forecasting and mid-term maintenance planning.

  • Health: Early warning system for vulnerable populations, such as people with respiratory issues or people living in dust-prone areas.

  • Agriculture/Insurance: Crop damage control.

Our partners and collaborators

Some of the companies and institutions that collaborate with us