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Dust over the Four Corners Region

Morning
Afternoon

Dust plumes blew over parts of Arizona, New Mexico, Colorado, and Utah on April 16, 2013. The dust plumes arose in two large clusters, one in northeastern Arizona, and the other in northwestern New Mexico. The dust plumes grew in both size and intensity through the day. The plumes blew toward the northeast, possibly stirring additional particles as they moved.

The Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Terra satellite captured the top image in the morning, and MODIS on NASA’s Aqua satellite captured the bottom image in the afternoon. Both images are natural color.

On April 16, the U.S. Drought Monitor reported that, with the exception of a small region in central Arizona, abnormally dry or drought conditions prevailed throughout Arizona, New Mexico, Colorado, and Utah, with an area of extreme drought stretching across the Arizona-New Mexico border. Many of the dust plumes visible in these images arose in or near that area of extreme drought.

NASA images courtesy Jeff Schmaltz, LANCE MODIS Rapid Response. Caption by Michon Scott.

References & Resources

  • U.S. Drought Monitor. (2013, April 16) Current conditions. University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Accessed April 18, 2013.