On March 20, 2012, a giant dust plume stretched across the Arabian Sea, from the coast of Oman in the west to the coast of India in the east. The Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Aqua satellite captured this true-color image the same day. This extensive plume followed days of dust-storm activity over the Arabian Peninsula and Southwest Asia.
Gulf News reported that several meteorologists had characterized the late March dust activity in this region as a “super sandstorm” with effects reaching as far as Southeast Asia. The dust storm resulted from two different storms converging. The first front carried dust from Iraq and Kuwait, and the second front stirred dust in southeastern Iran. “For many it was the worst dust storm in recent years,” Gulf News said. The news report cited desertification in Iraq as a factor in the severe storm.