March 20, 2020 - Dust over Central Africa (South Sudan, Central African Republic)

Dust over Central Africa (South Sudan, Central African Republic)

A massive dust storm swept across northern Africa in mid-March 2020, blanketing the skies from Senegal to Eritrea. Dust from the Sahara Desert also blew westward over the North Atlantic Ocean a well as eastward over the Arabian Peninsula—a distance of more than 4,000 miles—over two days.

On March 14, the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on board NASA’s Aqua satellite acquired this true-color image capturing the dust-filled skies over the Central African Republic (west), South Sudan, and Sudan (north). The dust is so thick in some areas, especially in the southern section of the image, that it obscures the view of the landscape. Africa’s Sahara Desert is one of the world’s major sources of dust, and dust storms are the primary natural hazard in most of the countries in this region.

Thanks to NASA’s Worldview app the progress of the dust storm can be viewed as it crosses Africa on March 13 and March 14. A roll-over image illustrating the progress can be seen HERE

The NASA Worldview app provides a satellite's perspective of the planet as it looks today and as it has in the past through daily satellite images. Worldview is part of NASA’s Earth Observing System Data and Information System. EOSDIS makes the agency's large repository of data accessible and freely available to the public.

Image Facts
Date Acquired: 3/14/2020
Resolutions: 1km (392.6 KB), 500m (1.2 MB), 250m (3.2 MB)
Bands Used: 1,4,3
Image Credit: MODIS Land Rapid Response Team, NASA GSFC