Last update: June 19th, 2019 at 12:00 am
Today’s Image of the Day from NASA Earth Observatory shows a large dust plume over Japan that originated in northern Hokkaido.
Scientists who track global dust storm activity explain that it is unusual for Japan to produce so much dust.
Even though 44 billion tons of dust can be traced in the air at any given time, most of it originates in the deserts of North Africa, the Middle East, and Central Asia.
According to NASA, unusually dry weather in April and May likely dried out the land surface and made it easier for strong winds to lift the dust.
The image was captured on May 20, 2019 by the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on the Terra satellite.
Image Credit: NASA Earth Observatory