Sahara dust transport causes a substantial natural background to particle matter concentrations in Central Europe. The contributions by Sahara dust are especially well detectable at Alpine mountain sites where many other sources have minor impact. The ability of a chemical weather forecast model to simulate dust transport correctly is of vital interest as there might be cases of serious health effects for the population which may require countermeasures, as with nuclear or industrial accidents, wildfires, pollen, etc. Here we investigate whether the WRF-Chem set-up, which is run operationally for air quality forecasts in Austria, is able to forecast the transport of the Saharan dust cloud in April 2016 towards Central Europe correctly. WRF-Chem simulations with and without desert dust emissions reveal that 60 to 70% of the dust arriving at the Eastern Alps originate from desert dust emissions whenever PM concentrations are high during the three periods of this event. The measurements and model results deliver a detailed picture of the course of this extraordinary dust event with successive peaks over the Eastern Alpine region. By the presented example of the analysis of a long-lasting Sahara dust event, a structured approach is proposed to step-wise investigate dust peak episodes based on data analysis of representative background sites, source area analysis by means of Lagrangian dispersion modelling as well as based on coupled meteorological and chemistry modelling.