Dust blew through northern Afghanistan in late June 2011, spreading to the neighboring countries of Uzbekistan and Tajikistan. The Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Terra satellite captured this natural-color image on June 25, 2011. The beige dust plume is thick enough to completely hide the land surface below.
Sandy desert is widespread in this region, covering most of Turkmenistan, parts of southern Uzbekistan, and the area along the northern Afghanistan border. The snowcaps on some mountains east of the dust plume have a faint beige tint, suggested that dust from this or other storms may have landed on the snow. In some cases, sufficient amounts of dust can accelerate snow melt.