A Saharan dust storm originating in Mali blew off the west coast of Africa on June 6, 2006. The Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) flying onboard NASA’s Terra satellite took this picture the same day. The dust plumes are the thickest near their points of origin in the east. Although the dust dissipates somewhat as it moves westward, it still remains thick over the Atlantic. Although partially hidden by the dust storm, the differences of the underlying landscape are still apparent as the sands of the Sahara give way to vegetation in the south.
NASA image created by Jesse Allen, Earth Observatory, using data provided courtesy of the MODIS Rapid Response team.
Saharan dust hovered over the Atlantic for several days in mid-January 2008. This image shows two different areas of dust plume activity. Immediately off the coasts of Western Sahara and Mauritania, a series of tan dust plumes blow in predominantly straight lines toward the northwest. Farther west, a large, diffuse plume of dust hangs over the Atlantic Ocean