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WMO Sand and Dust Storm Warning Advisory
and Assessment System (SDS-WAS)

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The SDS-WAS programme at WMO

- SDS-WAS was established in 2007 in response to the intention of 40 WMO member countries to improve capabilities for more reliable sand and dust storm forecasts. Research forecasting products from atmospheric dust models may substantially contribute to risk reduction in many areas of societal benefit. It will rely on real-time delivery of products.

- More than 15 organizations currently provide daily dust forecasts in different geographic regions. The SDS-WAS integrates research and user communities (e.g. medical, aeronautical, agricultural users). SDS-WAS is established as a federation of partners organized around regional nodes. At the moment two nodes are established: the Northern Africa-Middle East-Europe Node (hosted by Spain) and the Asian Node (hosted by China). The SDS-WAS mission is to achieve comprehensive, coordinated and sustained observations and modeling capabilities of sand and dust storms in order to improve the monitoring of sand and dust storms to increase the understanding of the dust processes and to enhance dust prediction capabilities.

- Video - SDS problem and SDS-WAS (Protecting People from Sand and Dust Storms)





Objectives of the SDS-WAS

WMO SDS-WAS Global System

  - CAMS

  - ICAP multi-model ensemble

  • To establish a coordinated global network of
    SDS research and forecasting centres
  • To enhance operational SDS forecasts through
    technology transfer from research.
  • To improve observation technology
  • To provide users access to forecasts and observations
  • To promote research and applications related
    to the sand and dust storm process
  • To build capacity of countries to utilize SDS products
  • To build bridges with other relevant communities

Northern Africa-Middle East-Europe (NA-ME-E) Node

Asia Node

Pan American Node

Members of the Asia Node Regional Steering Group

Members of the Pan American Node Steering Group



Past meetings


Past meetings



17 July: The 4th Training Course on WMO SDS-WAS products was held in Casablanca, Morocco
4 July: DREAMABOL model joined the model inter-comparison and forecast evaluation
4 July: What is the benefit of ceilometers for aerosol remote sensing?
23 June: Near-real-time dust alert in Italy
20 June: The EMA-RegCM4 model joined the model inter-comparison and forecast evaluation
10 June: The Barcelona Dust Forecast Center was presented
7 May: WMO Virtual Lab: on-line talk on sand and dust (in French)
24 April: Severe sandstorm hits Northern China
2 April: Saharan dust over the UK


  • Global Assessment of Sand and Dust Storms UNEP-WMO-UNCCD Joint Report:The “Global Assessment of Sand and Dust Storms”, jointly written by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), World Meteorological Organization (WMO) and United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD). The report, with foreword by the UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon, has been included in the documentation of the 71st session of the UN General Assembly



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