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Dust Storm over Libya
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Dust Storm over Libya

April 24, 2013
A dust storm swept off the north coast of Africa on December 14, 2005. The Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) flying onboard the Aqua satellite captured this image wind sweeping dust off the north coast of Africa on December 14, 2005. Although the dust emerges over the Mediterranean from the north coast of Libya, it originated in Algeria. In this image, pale beige tendrils of dust swirl from the southwest toward the northeast in Algeria, south of Tunisia, and into Libya. The dust plumes finally dissipate over the Mediterranean north of Libya. The dust follows the outside edges of a swirling low-pressure system. The pressure difference between high- and low-pressure areas often generates powerful winds which can swirl into a cyclone around the center of the low-pressure system. The presence of airborne dust being carried over a large area indicates that this cyclone produced strong winds. Credit: Jeff Schmaltz, MODIS Rapid Response Team, NASA/GSFC