Dust blew off the coast of Africa and over the Red Sea in early September 2011. The Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Aqua satellite captured this natural-color image on September 8, 2011.
Arising in Sudan’s interior, a large plume forms a counter-clockwise arc that extends over the Red Sea. Along Sudan’s coast, the dust is nearly thick enough to hide the land and water below. Thinner dust extends toward the coast of Saudi Arabia. Midway across the Red Sea, parts of the plume take on a rippled appearance.
According to the CIA World Factbook, dust storms and drought frequently menace Sudan, which sustains few permanent crops and suffers from a chronic lack of potable water.