A dust storm shrouded Iraq and Kuwait in late May 2012. On May 22, the Kuwait News Agency reported that thick dust had suspended operations in two ports, and business news site Zawya reported that dust storm activity forced the closure of the Baghdad airport.
The Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Aqua satellite captured this natural-color image on May 24, 2012, as dust extended from Syria and northern Iraq southward to Kuwait.
Frequent dust storms in the Middle East owe their existence not only to the vast sand seas of the Arabian Peninsula, but also to the fine sediments of the Tigris and Euphrates Riverbeds and impermanent rivers and salt lakes in the Syria-Iraq region.
- Kuwait News Agency. (2012, May 22) Sand storm suspends marine navigation at Shuwaikh, Shuaiba ports. Accessed May 24, 2012.
- University Corporation for Atmospheric Research. Forecasting Dust Storms. (Registration required).
- Zawya. (2012, May 22) Dust storm shuts Baghdad airport ahead of nuclear talks. Accessed May 24, 2012.
This image originally appeared on the Earth Observatory. Click here to view the full, original record.