Major dust storms are a frequent occurence over northwest Africa and
the Sahara Desert. This image of a massive dust storm was aquired on February
11, 2001 by the Sea-viewing Wide Field-of-view Sensor (SeaWiFS). SeaWiFS has seen
similar storms every year since its launch in August 1997.
Of particular interest in this image are the eddies and waves on the lee
side of the mountainous Canary Islands (center).
On March 10, 2007, thick plumes of dust blew off the west coast of Africa and over the Canary Islands. In this image, the tan dust strikes a strong contrast with the navy blue ocean. The dust plumes are thickest over the Canary Islands, almost thick enough to completely obscure the satellite’s view of them.