A dust storm struck the Middle East on June 18, 2009, as the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Aqua satellite passed overhead. This photo-like image shows beige plumes, some translucent and some opaque, over Jordan, Syria, Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Kuwait, and Iran.
Small plumes of dust appear to blow westward from Syria and Jordan, but skies are mostly clear over those countries and over western Iraq. The dust storm thickens toward the east, perhaps fueled by the fine sediments of the Euphrates and Tigris floodplains. The dust is thickest in Kuwait, eastern Iraq, and western Iran.