In late May, 2014 strong winds blew a plume of dust off the coast of Libya and over the blue waters of the Mediterranean Sea. The Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Aqua satellite acquired this true-color image on May 25.
The tan-colored plume arises well inland, and passes roughly between the cities of Derna (in the west) and Tubruq (east). The dust spreads into a fine veil that reaches the Greek island of Crete in the north.
Dust storms are a common occurrence in Libya. Away from the green coastland, most of the land is dry, and vast sand seas can be found. In the spring and fall, dust storms lasting up to four days at a time are not unusual.