Gobi Desert Dust Storm

Gobi Desert Dust Storm

Less than two weeks after a similar storm, dust once again blew out of the Gobi Desert and across the Mongolia-China border. The Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Terra satellite captured this natural-color image on May 11, 2011.

Camel-colored dust forms a counter-clockwise arc that sweeps across the border into China, then back over the border into Mongolia. Clouds hover over the dust plume, and a large cloudbank fringes the plume’s northern edge. The clouds could be related to the same weather system that stirred the dust.

The sparsely vegetated grasslands of the Gobi rank among the world’s most prolific dust-producing regions. This is especially true in the Northern Hemisphere spring.

  1. References
  2. University Corporation for Atmospheric Research. Forecasting Dust Storms. (Registration required.) Accessed May 11, 2011.

Images & Animations


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  • Data Date:

    May 11, 2011
  • Visualization Date:

    May 11, 2011
  • Sensor(s):

    Terra - MODIS
NASA - National Aeronautics and Space Administration