A thick wall of Saharan Deser dust swept over the Cape Verde Islands off the coast of West Africa on March 5, 2004. Toward the northeast (upper right) in this scene, the lower-lying islands of Sal, Boa Vista, and Maio are all almost completely obscured by the tan-colored dust. But the peaks on the volcanic islands to the west are tall enough to peer above the top of the dust storm’s canopy, and so these islands stand out more visibly. Notice the prominent von Karman vortex patterns the wind and dust create in the wakes behind the islands of Santo Antao (top center), Sao Tiago, and Fogo (below, center).
This true-color image was acquired by the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) aboard NASA’s Terra satellite.