June 14, 2021 - Dust over the Persian Gulf


An intense sandstorm turned the skies over Kuwait orange on June 11, 2021. The Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on board NASA’s Terra satellite acquired a true-color image of long, thick plumes of sand stretching over Iraq, Kuwait, and the Persian Gulf on that same day.

Dust began to rise from the Tigris-Euphrates River Valley as strong winds whipped over the region on June 10. By June 11, the original camel-colored plume had reached more than 500 km (310 miles) in length as it stretched over Kuwait City and the western coast of the Persian Gulf. Additional dust plumes rose from dry lands southeast of Basrah, Iraq and poured over the Persian Gulf on that same day, adding to the thick veils of dust covering the land.

Dust storms are frequent in the Middle East, rising not only from the vast sand seas of the Arabian Peninsula but also from the fine sediments of the Tigris and Euphrates riverbeds and the impermanent rivers and salt lakes in the Syria-Iraq region.

Image Facts
Satellite: Terra
Date Acquired: 6/11/2021
Resolutions: 1km (296.6 KB), 500m (703.2 KB), 250m (326.4 KB)
Bands Used: 1,4,3
Image Credit: MODIS Land Rapid Response Team, NASA GSFC