May 17, 2024 - Heavy Dust across China


A frontal system swept across China in mid-May 2024, carrying strong winds that stirred up dust from the Taklimakan and Gobi Deserts for several days.

The Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Aqua satellite acquired this true-color image of the dust storm on May 15. At that time, the river of dust stretched more than 2,000 kilometers (1,200 miles) from west to east and was extremely thick near the Gobi Desert (east) and Taklimakan Desert (west). A bank of clouds which crosses the scene between the two deserts marks the passing frontal system.

According to other daily Aqua MODIS images of the same area, sand began to blow out of the eastern edge of the Taklimakan Desert on May 12. The sandstorm intensified, affecting more of northern China over the next several days. It is still continuing as of May 16.

Image Facts
Satellite: Aqua
Date Acquired: 5/14/2024
Resolutions: 1km (2.6 MB), 500m ( B), 250m (2.1 MB)
Bands Used: 1,4,3
Image Credit: MODIS Land Rapid Response Team, NASA GSFC