Dust Storm in Southwest Asia
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Dust Storm in Southwest Asia

January 2, 2012
Dust continued to cover southwestern Asia on December 22, 2011 as strong northern winds blew across dry land and lakebeds, lifting the soil and carrying it southward over the Arabian Sea. The Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) aboard the Aqua satellite captured this true-color image at 9:10 UTC (1:40 p.m. Afghanistan Time) on that same day.

The storm began on December 20, and had continued for three days at the time this image was captured. Compared to the earliest image (see MODIS Image of the Day for December 22), the dust seems to have thinned in some areas and has spread further southward. Pale tan dust now covers the Arabian Sea, and reaches the southern coast of Oman.

Blowing dust reduces visibility, and can cause significant disruption of transportation. This storm has closed both roads and airports, even preventing a visit by British Prime Minister David Cameron to a British military base when the runway was closed due to low visibility.

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

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