Dust over Saudi Arabia

Dust over Saudi Arabia

Dust storms continued on the Arabian Peninsula from late February into early March. This image, acquired by the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Aqua satellite on March 3, 2012, shows a dust plume spanning hundreds of kilometers. The plume extends from Saudi Arabia in the west to the United Arab Emirates in the east.

The Empty Quarter, or Rub’ al Khali, is a rich sand sea stretching over parts of Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Oman, and the United Arab Emirates, and it supplies material for regional dust storms. Windy weather provides the other ingredient necessary for dust plumes. On March 2, the United Arab Emirates Weather Bureau forecast dust storms and high seas through March 7, GulfNews.com reported.

  1. References

  2. Saberi, M. (2012, March 2). Dust storm expected to hit UAE. GulfNews.com. Accessed March 6, 2012.
  3. University Corporation for Atmospheric Research. Forecasting Dust Storms. (Registration required.) Accessed March 6, 2012.
  4. Webster, D., (2005, February 1). Empty Quarter. National Geographic. Accessed March 6, 2012.

Images & Animations


File Dimensions

  • 720x480
  • JPEG
  • 4000x5200
  • JPEG 2 MB
  • GeoTIFF 25 MB
  • KMZ 2 KB

Note: Often times, due to the size, browsers have a difficult time opening and displaying images. If you experiece an error when clicking on an image link, please try directly downloading the image (using a right click, save as method) to view it locally.


  • Data Date:

    March 3, 2012
  • Visualization Date:

    March 6, 2012
  • Sensor(s):

    Aqua - MODIS
NASA - National Aeronautics and Space Administration