Drought-ravaged Patagonia continued producing dust in late March 2009, continuing a pattern of activity from mid-March and late January 2009. The Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Terra satellite captured this image of a dust storm on March 28, 2009. The dust plumes arise from a multitude of source points, which look like beige pinpoints. As the dust plumes blow eastward, they fan out, forming one large, opaque plume over the Atlantic Ocean.
South American crops were hit hard by drought in early 2009. Historically, Brazil and Argentina have been the world’s largest exporters of corn, after the United States. By March 2009, corn exports appeared even lower than originally forecast. Soybean crops were also expected to suffer significant declines, even though March rains brought relief to some regions. As evident from this image, however, the ground remained parched just north of Golfo San Matías.