June 10, 2013 - Saharan dust over the Atlantic Ocean

Saharan dust over the Atlantic Ocean

On June 2, 2013 the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) flew over the Atlantic Ocean and acquired a set of true-color images that showed an intense band of dust blowing from Africa to South America.

This image, captured at 12:40 UTC (8:40 a.m. EDT) that same day, shows the effects of the strong winds which blow to the south west from the African coast. A golden-tan band stretches hundreds of kilometers from northeast to southwest, spreading underneath the higher clouds. This is just a small section of the dust that has risen from the Sahara desert and flow towards Brazil.

In the northeast, dark tan circles of land can be spotted lying between white clouds and under the dusty haze. These are the Cape Verde Islands, a volcanic archipelago lying in the central Atlantic Ocean, about 570 km (350 mi) off the coast of Western Africa. On the lee side of the islands are several von Karman vortex streets, created by the turbulence of the wind as it flows around the tall peaks of the mountainous islands.

Image Facts
Satellite: Terra
Date Acquired: 6/2/2013
Resolutions: 1km ( B), 500m ( B), 250m ( B)
Bands Used: 1,4,3
Image Credit: Jeff Schmaltz, MODIS Land Rapid Response Team, NASA GSFC