Dust Over Cape Verde Islands
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Dust Over Cape Verde Islands

January 11, 2007

Yesterday's image showed a Saharan dust storm off the coast of West Africa on January 1, 2007. At the very bottom left of the image, one small island is just visible. Today's image takes a better look at the chain that island belongs to, the Cape Verde Islands. The Cape Verde islands are in the mid-Atlantic, roughly off the coast of Mauritania and Senegal. Today's image was acquired by the MODIS on the Terra satellite on January 1, 2007 - the same day yesterday's image was captured.

Dust from Saharan storms is often caught up by the trade winds over the Ocean - here we can see the winds have brought the dust approximately 300 miles from the coast to these islands. Note the von Karmann vorticles forming off of the northernmost island. This island's highest point is is causing the wind-blown dust that encounters it to flow around it in swirls and eddies. For more on von Karman vortices, check out this wikipedia entry.

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