Dust Storms

Dust storms can have an impact on human health, weather patterns as well as cause disruption through flight delays and the closure of highways. Data from NASA's Land, Atmosphere Near real-time Capability for EOS (LANCE) are used to monitor and predict dust storms. This information is used by agencies within the Department of Defense to improve resource allocation in remote areas and help promote aircraft safety.

Dust storm over the Mediterranean

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As described in an article from NASA's Earth Observatory, on February 7, 2018, the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on the Terra satellite acquired this image of dust from the Sahara blowing over the Mediterranean Sea toward southern Europe.

According to news reports, the dust was carried by winds known as the scirocco. (In North Africa, these same desert winds are known as “chrom” (hot) or “arifi” (thirsty). The warm, dry air mass begins over the Sahara, picks up moisture over the Mediterranean, and moves north toward areas of lower pressure along the coasts of Europe.

Last Updated: Jan 15, 2020 at 5:05 PM EST