By June 25, 2012, Saharan dust had spread across the Canary Islands and Madeira. The dust started blowing a couple days earlier in Algeria and Mali, and traveled hundreds of kilometers toward the northwest. Over the Atlantic Ocean, the dust made a giant turn toward the east, in the direction of the Mediterranean Sea.
The Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Terra satellite captured this natural-color image on June 25. Immediately off the shores of Western Sahara and Morocco, the dust was thin enough to allow a glimpse of the water surface below. Farther away from shore, especially north of the Madeira, the dust was thicker, and mingled with clouds in the west.
Saharan dust hovered over the Atlantic for several days in mid-January 2008. This image shows two different areas of dust plume activity. Immediately off the coasts of Western Sahara and Mauritania, a series of tan dust plumes blow in predominantly straight lines toward the northwest. Farther west, a large, diffuse plume of dust hangs over the Atlantic Ocean