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Dust Storm in North Africa

Dust Storm in North Africa

A dust storm swept off the north coast of Africa on December 14, 2005. The Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) flying onboard the Aqua satellite captured this image the same day. Although the dust swept off the north coast of Libya, it originated in Algeria.

In this image, pale beige tendrils of dust swirl from the southwest toward the northeast in Algeria, south of Tunisia, and into Libya. The dust plumes finally dissipate over the Mediterranean north of Libya. Clouds, perhaps part of same weather system that kicked up the dust, obscure the view of the north coasts of Algeria and Tunisia, but most or all of the dust appears to be passing over Libya. As all three of these countries are part of the Sahara Desert, one of the world’s most prolific dust producers, dust storms are common in these countries.

NASA image courtesy Jeff Schmaltz, MODIS Land Rapid Response Team at NASA GSFC