Dust plumes spanned the Red Sea at the end of July 2011. The Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Aqua satellite captured this natural-color image on July 31, 2011. Although the dust is not thick enough to completely hide the land or water surface below, a thick haze hangs over the entire region.
The source of the dust is not obvious in this image, but dust storms often blow off the east coast of Africa, and this storm likely follows a similar pattern. Desert dominates the landscape of northern Sudan, and growing desertification and drought are persistent threats, the CIA World Factbook reports.