On October 6, 2001, the Sea-viewing Wide Field-of-view Sensor (SeaWiFS) captured this true-color image of a large dust storm blowing northeastward across the Mediterranean Sea from Tunisia. According to Joseph Prospero, professor of atmospheric science at the University of Miami, there is an unusual arc-shaped front to the dust cloud. The storms shape suggests that the source of the dust is rather small and that the meteorology driving it rather unusual. The dust seems to be coming out of the wadis, dry lakebeds and riverbeds, at the base of the Tell Atlas Mountains in northern Tunisia and eastern Algeria.
The dust appears to be blowing toward the island of Sicily, Italy (toward the upper righthand corner). Also notice there is a relatively thin plume of smoke emanating eastward from the top of Mount Etna on Sicily.
Image courtesy the SeaWiFS Project,
NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center, and ORBIMAGE
Dust remained in the air another day, two days after a major dust storm struck northern Africa on February 23, 2006. The Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) flying onboard the Terra satellite captured this image on February 25. By the time this image was acquired, the dust had moved toward the northeast over the Mediterranean Sea.