Jacques Descloitres, MODIS Rapid Response Team, NASA/GSFC
October’s massive wildfires in Southern California stripped the ground of the vegetation that holds dirt in place. The freshly exposed soil and the overlying ashes are vulnerable to winds, as this true color Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) image shows. Here, a tan plume of dust and ash is blowing over the Pacific Ocean and San Clemente Island. In this image, newly burned areas are dark brown against the tan of the surrounding land. The sprawling grey patch along the coast is Los Angeles. Beneath the dust plume, a smaller grey area is the city of San Diego. The dust is clearly coming from the burn scar left by the Cedar fire near San Diego. The Terra satellite captured this image on November 27, 2003.
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