Skip all navigation and jump to content Jump to site navigation
NASA Logo - Goddard Space Flight Center

+ NASA Homepage

    
Goddard Space Flight Center
About MODIS News Data /images2 Science Team Science Team Science Team

   + Home
ABOUT MODIS
 

April 23, 2014

April 22, 2014

April 21, 2014

April 20, 2014

April 19, 2014

April 18, 2014

April 17, 2014

 

 

January 5, 2014 - Dust storm in central Mexico (morning overpass)
Dust storm in central Mexico (morning overpass) Image used for Spacing Purposes
Satellite: Terra
Date Acquired: 12/21/2013
Resolutions: 1km (65 KB)
500m (193.3 KB)
250m (429.2 KB)
Bands Used: 1,4,3
Credit: Jeff Schmaltz
MODIS Land Rapid Response Team,
NASA GSFC

In late December, 2013 brisk winds blew across Mexico’s dry central plateau, raising broad lines of dust high into the air. The Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) aboard the Terra satellite captured a striking true-color image of the event on the morning of December 21.

Plumes of orange-red dust rise from equally red patches of soil and are carried hundreds of kilometers to the northeast where, at the far edge of the image, the ocher dust appears to begin to mix with clouds. Winds at Durango, Mexico were reported to be as high as 40 mph (64 km/h) and gusts in the region as high as 50 mph (80.5 km/h) on that day. The soil where the plumes originate is rich in iron, which causes the ocher coloration.

By December 22, some residents of Houston, Texas noticed a fine orange dust decorating their automobiles – dust that most likely originated in this storm a day earlier.

Mexico’s central plateau rises an average of about 6,000 feet (1,829 m) above sea level, with some areas higher. Rising dust has little trouble being caught in mid- to upper-level airflows, such as the one moving across northern Mexico and Texas on December 21 – 22. This flow helped produce some light rain in Texas, which, most likely, brought the dust back down to Earth with the precipitation.

FirstGov logo Privacy Policy and Important Notices NASA logo

Curator: Brandon Maccherone
NASA Official: Shannell Frazier

NASA Home Page Goddard Space Flight Center Home Page