Last update: September 17th, 2019 at 8:00 am
A pall of haze that was probably a combination of dust and smoke lined the border between Sudan and Ethiopia on March 10, 2009. The Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Aqua satellite took this picture the same day.
The multiple red outlines in this image indicate hotspots where MODIS has detected unusually warm surface temperatures, probably from agricultural fires. These fires contribute some smoke to the particulate matter overhead, but the beige color of the plumes, especially in the north, suggests that dust is more abundant. The source of this dust is not immediately obvious in this image. Although Ethiopia had experienced drought conditions farther east, western Ethiopia—where the plumes appear to arise—was not experiencing harsh drought conditions at the time this image was acquired. Dust plumes might have arisen from winds associated with a local weather event. Skies over nearby T’ana Hayk (Lake Tana) are clear.
Credit: NASA image courtesy MODIS Rapid Response Team, Goddard Space Flight Center. Caption by Michon Scott.