Today’s Image of the Day from NASA Earth Observatory features a brutal a dust storm over northern Iraq on April 7, 2022.
NASA reports that the dust storm engulfed parts of Iraq for multiple days, turning skies orange, reducing visibility, and degrading air quality.
“Dust storms in Iraq are most common in the summer, provoked by the shamal – strong winds that blow from the northwest. But they can occur in other seasons, too,” reports NASA.
“Western Iraq, for example, sees more shamal-driven dust storms in spring. According to a report from The World Bank, northern Iraq – between the Tigris and Euphrates rivers and along the border of Syria – has the highest density of dust sources in the Middle East.”
During this dust storm, dozens of people were hospitalized with respiratory problems across the country.
“The dust also appears to have darkened the snow on mountains in Turkey,” said NASA.
“The director of Iraq’s meteorological office noted that drought is causing dust storms in Iraq to become more frequent. While the shamal winds are common, drought makes it more likely that eroded material can be lofted into the air.”
Image Credit: NASA Earth Observatory