On June 9, 2005, a severe windstorm sent trees, billboards, and power lines crashing to the ground in the province of Punjab in western India. As residents of this populous region recovered from the severe wind and rain, they heard warnings of a dust storm in the next 24 hours. As predicted, it swept into the region the next day. This dust storm, over 1,000 kilometers (620 miles) in length, stretched from central Pakistan into northern India.
The Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS), flying on NASA’s Terra satellite, captured this massive dust storm on June 10, 2005.
Hot temperatures in this region have set the stage for dust storms. As hot air rises, it creates a vacuum. Air that rushes in to fill the void carries dust with it. These storms are especially common in the spring and summer months.