Dust Storm over the Arabian Peninsula
17 May 2012

Fig (1)
Dust storm over the Middle East
Credit: NASA image courtesy LANCE MODIS Rapid Response.

In early May 2012, a dust storm blew east of Damascus. The storm covered most of Syria, and extended into Iraq, Saudi Arabia and Jordan. NASA’s Aqua satellite acquired a natural-color image (Fig. 1) of the huge storm, on May 11. The dust was densest in the west, especially in Jordan and northern Saudi Arabia, and thinning toward the east.

The expansive sand seas of the Arabian Peninsula provide plentiful material for dust clouds. Moreover, impermanent rivers and salt lakes occur across the region. The fine sediments from these areas, as well as from the Tigris and Euphrates floodplains, can also supply dust storms.


NASA’s Earth Observatory

Aymen Mohamed Ibrahem
Senior Astronomy Specialist
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