September 17, 2023 - Dust Storm in Northeastern Afghanistan


Thick dust blew through northeastern Afghanistan and southwestern Tajikistan in mid-September 2023. The Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Aqua satellite acquired a true-color image of the storm on September 12.

The dust collected in the valleys of the Hindu Kush mountains, where it was so dense that the land beneath was hidden from satellite view. A thinner layer of dust also spread over Uzbekistan, to the north and Turkmenistan, to the northwest.

Sandy desert is widespread in this region, covering most of Turkmenistan, parts of southern Uzbekistan, and the area along the northern Afghanistan border. The snowcaps on some mountains east of the dust plume have a faint beige tint, suggesting that dust from this or other storms may have landed on the snow.

Image Facts
Satellite: Aqua
Date Acquired: 9/12/2023
Resolutions: 1km (774.3 KB), 500m (2 MB), 250m (1.3 MB)
Bands Used: 1,4,3
Image Credit: MODIS Land Rapid Response Team, NASA GSFC