Visitors to Death Valley, California were puzzled by a persistent haze over the past weekend (April 14th and 15th, 2001). In a region where the skies are almost always crystal clear, visibility was limited to no more than 10 miles. The likely cause was dust, carried across the Pacific Ocean from the deserts of Asia.
This image from the Sea-viewing Wide Field-of-view Sensor (SeaWiFS) shows dust suspended in the atmosphere above the coast of California on April 15, 2001. Concentrations of dust are visible south of (below) the coast, and mixed with clouds further west (left side of the image) over open ocean. Dust storms in Mongolia and China have been kicking up dust for months, as seen in these earlier SeaWiFS images from March and January.
For more information, read SeaWiFS Observes Transport of Asian Dust over the Pacific Ocean.
Provided by the SeaWiFS Project, NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center, and ORBIMAGE