Dust across West Sahara (afternoon overpass)
Jacques Descloitres, MODIS Rapid Response Team, NASA/GSFC
A long line of Saharan dust swept across Mali, Mauritania, and Western Sahara and out over the Canary Islands on March 3, 2004 when the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) acquired these images. The dust appears to have originated in Algeria. Winter and spring dust storms are common in Western Africa when the sirocco winds—hot, dry, dust-laden winds — blow north and northwest out of the Sahara Desert. As the day progressed, the dust grew thicker and the storm extended farther west.