Dust Storm over Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Iran
A dust storm stirred in the Hamun wetlands along the Iran-Afghanistan border on June 3, 2012. By the following day, the dust plumes had grown, spreading far south into Pakistan. The Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Aqua satellite acquired this natural-color image on June 4.
When moisture is scarce, areas like the Hamun wetlands transform to dry lakebeds, and the fine sediments provide material for dust storms. Multiple dry lakebeds occur along the borders between Iran, Afghanistan, and Pakistan, in addition to the Hamun wetland area. High temperatures can also contribute to dust storms by making air near the ground unstable. In such conditions, even light winds can loft dust into the air.
- University Corporation for Atmospheric Research. Forecasting Dust Storms. (Registration required).
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This image originally appeared on the Earth Observatory. Click here to view the full, original record.