Do you live in an area that has dust storms? We would like for you to photograph the dust event and submit your photos using the GLOBE Observer app. Have you already been reporting dust storms? We noticed and what to say THANK YOU! Now we want to get the word out that anyone can report dust storms with the app following the steps below.  

Watch the recorded webinar on how to submit your observations using the NASA GLOBE Observer app and learn about educational resources you can use in your classroom or in an informal setting [link]!

Interested in the data? Follow the step-by-step instructions on how to download dust observations [link]


Meet the Scientists


Daniel Tong is a dust forecaster  with the NOAA National Air Quality Forecast Capability Program (, and the NASA Health and Air Quality Applied Science Team ( His research focuses on predicting air pollutants and their impacts on human health.



Kerstin Schepanski is a researcher on dust based at the Leibniz Institute for Tropospheric Research (TROPOS, in Leipzig, Germany. In her work, she combines satellite data and computer models to examine dust sources and the dust life cycle.



Why is it Important?

Storm System Stirs Up Dust

Dust observations made by GLOBE can help scientists in several ways. Your observations provide direct evidence of a dust storm in your area. Scientists can use YOUR OBSERVATIONS to check if their models have done a good job to predict these dust storms. In addition, your data will be used to verify satellite observations. Dust products from satellites are often compared to other independent data sources, such as ground monitors and aircraft measurements. Your GLOBE observations can be part of the “ground truth” data set.


This is VERY IMPORTANT to help communities prepare and avoid harmful impacts of dust storms. Your observations with scientists help alert or tell students or people with asthma when to stay indoors or even let farmers and ranchers know which days would be better to till their land. Your observations also help warn construction workers when to wear protective equipment to reduce risks of Valley fever infection. Truck drivers can plan their trips to avoid roadblocks and costly detours. Even music concerts, sports teams, and weddings can best plan their outdoor events. 


How to Report Your Dust Observations Using the GLOBE Observer App?


Step 1. Download the GLOBE Observer app                               

Download from the Google Play Store for Android [link]               

Download from the Apple App Store for iPhone [link]


Use your GLOBE sign-in information to sync your observations with your GLOBE data entry.


Step 2. Open the app and select GLOBE Clouds

Then select New Cloud Observation



Step 3. Time and place

Your latitude, longitude, and time of day with be filled in automatically by the app! Just scroll to the bottom of the screen and click Next




Step 4: Select Obscured


Step 5: Check the box for Dust

The app will prompt you to record the Type of Obscuration. Scroll down. Check the box for Dust



Step 6: Is the ground parched?

The app will prompt you to record the surface conditions. You are required to answer “Yes” or “No” for each category. For Dry Ground, answer “Yes” if the ground under your feet is dusty, dry, or parched. Answer “No” if the ground under your feet is muddy, moist, squishy, or there’s standing water. 


Step 7: Select Add Pictures Manually


Step 8: Take pictures of the dust storm!

Make your best guess at the direction of the dust storm. In this example, the dust storm is to the north. Click on the grey camera icon under North. Click on Take Photo. Point your camera at the horizon and take a photo of the dust storm. 





Step 9: Submit your observation to GLOBE!

Click Send Observations Now. Check the box next to your observation. Click “Send 1 Observation to GLOBE”. You’re done! Thank you!



You can check out your dust storm photos on after you submit! 


This dust observation is from Marilé Colón Robles, Project Scientist for NASA GLOBE Clouds, on 21 June 2019. She was at a NASA citizen science meeting in Tucson, Arizona and saw a dust storm approaching in the distance! 


More Blog Entries

can i add some an old pictures on old date that i took before about dust storm.???