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Dust Storm in the Middle East
This page contains archived content and is no longer being updated. At the time of publication, it represented the best available science. However, more recent observations and studies may have rendered some content obsolete.
In late September 2011, a dust storm extended from Saudi Arabia to Turkey, hovering over parts of Cyprus and the Mediterranean Sea. The Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Aqua satellite captured this natural-color image on September 28, 2011.
This image shows the southern end of the dust storm. Source points are not apparent, but the dust appears thickest over southern and central Jordan and northwestern Saudi Arabia. Sand seas spread over much of this region, interspersed with dry salt lakes. The fine sediments in these areas provide plentiful material for dust storms. High daytime temperatures destabilize the air near the ground and increase the likelihood that dust will be lofted into the air.