On November 14, 2007, a dust storm swept over the borders of Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, and Afghanistan. The Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Terra satellite took this picture the same day. In this image, the dust is so thick that it completely obscures the landscape below with a beige blur. Only grazing Turkmenistan, the dust storm concentrates the other countries. Along its northern and western boundaries, the storm’s shape is indistinct, but in the southeast, near the mountains, the dust storm mimics the mountain valleys it occupies. The distinct shape of the storm in the southeast indicates that the dust particles do not reach high enough into the atmosphere to crest the mountaintops.
NASA image courtesy Jeff Schmaltz, MODIS Land Rapid Response Team at NASA GSFC.