Dust plumes blew off the coast of Saudi Arabia and over the Red Sea in mid-January 2008. The Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) flying on NASA’s Aqua satellite captured this image on January 16. This image shows delicate-looking, tan tendrils of dust arcing in a counter-clockwise direction toward the Sudanese coast. Three conspicuous plumes appear among fainter, less distinct plumes.
As Saudi Arabia is largely desert, it provides ample material for dust storms over the Red Sea. MODIS recorded this image during the second straight day of dust activity over the Red Sea. The following day, cloud cover moved into the area. The weather system that brought clouds to the region might have been responsible for stirring up the dust plumes.