Parallel dust plumes blew off the coast of Morocco in late December 2010. Blowing toward the north-northwest, the plumes just missed Lanzarote, the easternmost of the Canary Islands.
The Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Terra satellite captured this natural-color image on December 29, 2010. Camel-colored dust plumes form long, delicate arcs over the Atlantic Ocean. A long, skinny cloud bank runs almost perpendicular to the dust plumes. Parallel to the clouds is a faint, indistinct swath that could be a plume from an earlier dust storm.
Morocco does not have many of the vast sand seas that characterize much of the Sahara Desert. Sediments near the Moroccan shoreline probably gave rise to the dust plumes in this image.
In this image, two largely parallel dust plumes blow off the coast. The northeast plume is more intense—thick enough in places to completely hide the water below. The other plume is thinner and shows faint wave patterns near the coast.