A dust storm blew through Egypt on March 22, 2013, obscuring parts of the Nile River and the Gulf of Suez. The Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Aqua satellite captured this natural-color image in the afternoon; MODIS on the Terra satellite observed the storm in the morning. In both the morning and afternoon, dust stretched from northwestern Sudan toward northeastern Egypt.
Egypt lies within a broad band of dust-producing terrain that extends from northwestern Africa eastward to Mongolia. Outside of the Nile River Valley, Egypt’s land surface is a vast desert plateau rich in Saharan sand. Less than 3 percent of the land is arable, and less than 1 percent of the land supports permanent crops.