Dust Storm off Alaska
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Dust Storm off Alaska

December 18, 2008
Any mention of dust storms often evokes images of scorching, arid deserts, but such storms occasionally occur at high latitudes. In Alaska, glacial silt, or loess can give rise to dust events. One such event occurred on December 14, 2008, as the MODIS flying onboard NASA's Aqua satellite flew overhead.

In this image, the dust blowing off the Alaskan Panhandle forms parallel streaks of faint brown, contrasting slightly with the underlying navy ocean water. The dust appears to connect with clouds in the southwest. In fact, a wider-area image from this satellite pass shows that, to the south, the clouds form a counter-clockwise swirl. This suggests that the air in this region is moving toward an area of low pressure.

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