Last update: October 17th, 2019 at 5:00 am
Strong winds continued to blow massive amounts of dust from Africa east-northeastward over the Red Sea towards the Arabian Peninsula on June 17, 2016. The Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) aboard NASA’s Aqua satellite captured this true-color image at 10:55 UTC (1:55 p.m. local time) on that same day.
The dust storm, which is a river of wind-blown sand, appears most dense over the Tokar Delta in southern Sudan, funneled into that location, most likely, from a topographic feature lying about 30 mi (50 km) inland. This feature, the Tokar Gap, is a break in the tall mountains lying parallel to the coast. In June through September, winds blowing southeastward from Africa – often carrying large amounts of dust – finds its way through the Tokar Gap and carries dust towards the Arabian Peninsula.
The MODIS instrument on the Aqua satellite also captured a true-color image of the dust storm on June 15 – two days before this image was captured. NASA’s Earth Observatory published that spectacular image, along with more details about dust storms in this region, on June 17.