June 19, 2013 - Saharan dust over the Mediterranean Sea

Saharan dust over the Mediterranean Sea

A broad arc of Saharan dust blew over the Mediterranean Sea on June 8, 2013. The Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) aboard NASA’s Terra satellite captured this true-color image at 8:40 UTC (4:40 a.m. EST).

The tan arc blows off of Libya and Egypt (lower left and lower right, respectively), and a thinner veil of dust stretches over Crete (west). The plume extends across the Mediterranean Sea to reach the southern shores of Turkey.

Dust rising aloft from strong winds over Africa’s Sahara Desert often reaches Europe. Dust storms reaching the eastern Mediterranean region are fueled by cyclones primarily in the spring and early summer months. By the end of summer, the plumes tend to be pushed towards the Western Mediterranean by a low-pressure system which often emerges over the Balearic Islands.

Image Facts
Satellite: Terra
Date Acquired: 6/8/2013
Resolutions: 1km ( B), 500m ( B), 250m ( B)
Bands Used: 1,4,3
Image Credit: Jeff Schmaltz, MODIS Land Rapid Response Team, NASA GSFC