What is the actual calendar of observed global dust storms on Mars? And if available, any data about regional dust storms' dates, duration and coverage.

I find online information about global Martian dust storms having been observed since the 1950s, and one probably having destroyed Soviet Mars 3 lander in 1971 and two more in the 1970s during the Viking missions, one in 2001, one in 2007. But what is the complete schedule registered during the last 50 years or so?

(Shouldn't there be some kind of Mars weather site around by now, like for the Solar weather?)

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    $\begingroup$ Re your last comment, for the time being, closest to what NOAA is doing with its Space Weather Prediction Center for Earth that you can get for Mars is by using iNtegrated Space Weather Analysis System which extends (same) data from solar observatories like SOHO and SDO with projections for the whole Solar system. Now that we have MAVEN around Mars, it should help refine these models and any impact that space weather has on weather on Mars. Short of this, we don't have other means of producing reliable forecasts for Mars weather. $\endgroup$
    – TildalWave
    Commented Dec 12, 2015 at 18:39

1 Answer 1


This reference provides this handy table:

dust storm table

There hasn't been a global dust storm since 2007.

This paper classifies regional dust storms in Martian years without a global dust storm into three categories, with starting LS's of 210° to 240°, 245° to 260°, and 305° to 320°.

Note that we have been watching dust storms on Mars for a limited time, so the data is for a relatively small number of events. We can draw conclusions from what we have seen, but any one dust storm is a weather event and so can easily fall outside of the bounds of what we have seen before.

  • $\begingroup$ Great! It is a very uneven distribution with 6 storms in 11 years and then none for 18 years. 25% of the time 1971-1977 Mars had global dust storms! $\endgroup$
    – LocalFluff
    Commented Dec 12, 2015 at 20:35

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