Continuing an intermittent pattern from the previous month, more dust plumes blew off Argentina’s coast on February 17, 2009. The Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Aqua satellite captured this image the same day. In this image, the dust plumes form slight arcs, moving in a counter-clockwise direction over the Atlantic Ocean.
This part of Argentina is also known as Patagonia, and the region sports arid landscapes sculpted by relentless winds. The dry conditions were exacerbated in early 2009 by the worst drought in a generation, according to a report from the Associated Press. The country’s breadbasket faced dust bowl conditions as Argentine provinces declared agricultural emergencies and ranchers lost cattle to starvation.
Evidence of the drought appears in this image. Source points for these dust plumes appear in an agricultural region north of Golfo San Matías.