August 8, 2013 - Dust storm in the Sahara Desert

Dust storm in the Sahara Desert

A massive dust storm rose from the Sahara Desert in late July, 2013, obscuring the ground from view and traveling hundreds of kilometers over the North Atlantic Ocean. The Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) aboard NASA’s Terra satellite captured this true-color image on July 29.

Black lines have been overlain on the image to designate boundaries. Algeria lies in the northeast, Mauritania in the center, and Mali in the southeast. A small piece of Western Sahara, which remains relatively dust free, can be seen in the northwest.

A massive cloud of camel-colored dust fills the bottom two-thirds of the image, with what appears to be rising billows in the center and the northeast. A somewhat circular bank of clouds hovers over the sand storm, suggestive of gusty and unsettled weather.

Sand and dust storms are common in this region, and Saharan dust can, at times, cross the Atlantic Ocean.

Image Facts
Satellite: Terra
Date Acquired: 7/29/2013
Resolutions: 1km ( B), 500m ( B), 250m ( B)
Bands Used: 1,4,3
Image Credit: Jeff Schmaltz, MODIS Land Rapid Response Team, NASA GSFC