Vortex of dust and clouds spinning over the Arabian Sea

Today’s Image of the Day comes courtesy of NASA’s Aqua satellite Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS). The image captures a swirling vortex of clouds and dust moving over the Arabian Sea. The counterclockwise direction of the spin is caused by the rotation of the Earth.

When the dust travels in the air from the land over the sea, it brings with it a volume of warm air that prevents clouds from forming. When the photo was taken, the dry center of the vortex hadn’t yet mixed with the wet, cool sea air. But the outer sides of the vortex have already begun to mix with the moisture in the air, creating a wave of mini cumulous clouds.

Credit: NASA

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