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Dust Storm over the Red Sea

Dust Storm over the Red Sea

A dust storm blew off the coast of Sudan and over the Red Sea on July 4, 2008. The Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Terra satellite captured this image of the storm at 7:55 UTC (10:55 a.m. local time). The plume in this image is thick enough to completely hide much of the land surface in eastern Sudan. Over the Red Sea, the eastern edge of the plume thins enough to allow a glimpse of the water below. The plume almost reaches the coast of Saudi Arabia, and a very thin veil of dust passes over Jaza ir Farasan in the southeast.

The origin of the dust storm is not obvious from this image, and the dust plume appears to have originated farther inland. A sand sea straddles the border between Sudan and Egypt, some 1,000 kilometers (620 miles) from the coast. Some of the dust in this storm might have originated there.

NASA image courtesy of Jeff Schmaltz, MODIS Rapid Response Team, NASA-Goddard Space Flight Center. Caption by Michon Scott.