A dust storm formed over the borders of Turkey, Syria, and Iraq on December 20, 2007. The Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Terra satellite took this picture the same day. This image shows the dust storm—a meandering beige blur—beginning in the northwest and heading toward the southeast. Along the Iran-Iraq border, the dust darkens the color of the snowy surface. This darkening likely results from the dust plume hovering over the area, but some dust may have actually settled on the snow surface. Significant accumulations of dust can hasten snow melt.
Image courtesy Jeff Schmaltz, MODIS Land Rapid Response Team at NASA GSFC.