Dust storm off West Africa

dust-storm-off-west-africa

A dust storm in western Africa, which began in late April, 2012, continued through early May, sending billowing clouds of tan dust over the Atlantic Ocean and the Cape Verde Islands. This very large plume of thick dust began blowing off the coast of Africa on April, 29 and extended from Mali to Cape Verde. Unusually dry conditions in Mali have been cited as worsening the potential for dust storms by drying marsh sediments, and as a potential cause for this event.

Most of the dust appears to be blowing across Mauritania (north) and Senegal (south). The coastal countries south of Senegal, The Gambia, Guinea-Bissau, and Guinea, are also covered by the curling band of dust. In the Atlantic Ocean, the Cape Verde Islands remain shrouded by a thick veil of tan dust. The north-east to south-west movement of the prevailing wind is written in both the dust and clouds near Cape Verde. Not only does the dust plume leave a trail in the sky, but cloud vortices can be seen on the leeward side of the islands. (MODIS)

 

Featured image: Dust off the Western Africa on May 1st (NASA image by Jeff Schmaltz, LANCE MODIS Rapid Response. Caption by Michon Scott.)

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One Comment

  1. Modis is awsome it’s great to have such an instrument in space to keep a watchful eye on our planet. It seems hard to believe that a dust storm can last this long. To live there under those conditions would be tough.,I can only imagine.

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