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Dust storm in the Middle East
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Dust storm in the Middle East

September 30, 2011
In late September 2011, a dust storm extended from Saudi Arabia to Turkey, hovering over parts of Cyprus and the Mediterranean Sea. The Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Aqua satellite captured this natural-color image on September 28, 2011.

Source points for the dust are not apparent in this image, but the dust appears thickest over southern and central Jordan and northwestern Saudi Arabia. Sand seas spread over much of this region, interspersed with dry salt lakes. The fine sediments in these areas provide plentiful material for dust storms. By destabilizing air near the ground, high daytime temperatures increase the likelihood that dust will be lofted into the air.

Credits: Jeff Schmaltz, MODIS Land Rapid Response Team, NASA GSFC