Dust off the West Coast of Africa

Dust off the West Coast of Africa

Saharan dust blew past the Canary Islands and over the Atlantic Ocean in early July 2010. The Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Aqua satellite captured this natural-color image on July 8, 2010.

A thin but discernible plume of dust extends from Morocco toward the southwest, past Western Sahara, Mauritania, and Senegal. The dust plume appears to pass over and/or mix with a layer of clouds off the coast, lending some clouds a yellowish hue. Meanwhile, vortices form downwind of the Canary Islands, especially Tenerife. The vortices give clouds southwest of the archipelago a paisley pattern.

Images & Animations


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  • Data Date:

    July 8, 2010
  • Visualization Date:

    July 9, 2010
  • Sensor(s):

    Aqua - MODIS
NASA - National Aeronautics and Space Administration