March 28, 2024 - Saharan Dust Continues to Cross Mediterranean


Saharan dust continued to pour over the Mediterranean Sea and into Europe in late March 2024. The Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Terra satellite acquired this true-color image of Italy, Greece, and the blue waters of the Mediterranean sea buried under a cloud of airborne dust on March 27.

In the winter and spring, dust emerging from North Africa tends to be carried northward at relatively low altitudes by hot, dry winds known as “la calima”. In contrast, from late spring to early fall, the Saharan Air Layer carries dust westward across the Atlantic Ocean higher in the atmosphere.

Dust has been moving almost constantly across the Mediterranean since March 18, most recently turning skies over Sicily orange. At the same time, weather forecasters in Greece called for potential “mud showers” on March 27-28, thanks to the barometric low off the coast of North Africa driving both dust and rain northward.

Image Facts
Satellite: Terra
Date Acquired: 3/27/2024
Resolutions: 1km (749.1 KB), 500m (2.2 MB), 250m ( B)
Bands Used: 1,4,3
Image Credit: MODIS Land Rapid Response Team, NASA GSFC