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Dust Storm over Sudan

Dust Storm over Sudan

A massive dust storm hundreds of kilometers across hovered over Sudan on May 7, 2009. The Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Terra satellite captured this image the same day.

Camel-colored dust obscures the satellite’s view of much of Sudan, and the dust forms a counter-clockwise swirl not far from the Sudan-Eritrea border. Another dust cloud hovers over Eritrea, slightly darker and grayer than the massive plume over Sudan. The eastern plume may have arisen from an earlier pulse of dust-storm activity.

Northern Sudan consists largely of arid desert, according to the CIA World Factbook, but the country has no substantial sand seas. This dust storm may have blown southward from sand seas in the Sahara Desert before rotating in a counter-clockwise direction.

NASA image by Jess Schmaltz, MODIS Rapid Response Team, Goddard Space Flight Center. Caption by Michon Scott.