Dust plumes blew off the coast of Africa and over the Red Sea through mid-July 2011. Dust was still blowing eastward on July 20, 2011, when the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Terra satellite acquired this natural-color image.
The dust blowing off the coast of Sudan is thick enough to completely hide the land and water surface below, but the thickest dust stops short of reaching Saudi Arabia. Farther south, between Eritrea and Yemen, a thin dusty haze hangs over the Red Sea.
Dust storms and drought are the hazards most frequently affecting Sudan, according to the CIA World Factbook. Less than 10 percent of Sudan’s land is arable, and less than 1 percent of the country’s land supports permanent crops.
This true-color image shows dust plumes blowing off the coasts of Sudan and Somalia on July 16, 2009. Both plumes head northeast, although the dust plume from Sudan changes direction to move southeast.