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Dust Storm in Iraq
This page contains archived content and is no longer being updated. At the time of publication, it represented the best available science. However, more recent observations and studies may have rendered some content obsolete.
The dust storm that plagued Iraq on August 8, 2005, and delayed constitution talks lingered over the region the next day. The Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) flying onboard the Aqua satellite took this picture on August 9, 2005. In this image, a pale beige cloud of dust several hundred kilometers across sweeps out of Iraq and over the Persian Gulf in the southeast.
This dust storm was caused by a phenomenon known as a shamal (also called a shumal, or shimal). A shamal is a northwest wind that can last several days. Shamals cause some of the most destructive dust storms in the Middle East.