Ten days after a dust cloud from Tunisia brought coloured snow and rain to parts of Europe a deep trough over northern Africa triggered a major dust outbreak that swept across Libya, Egypt, the Mediterranean Sea and Turkey in February 2014.
13 April 2021
26 February 2014
The case is very typical for the beginning of March, the peak month for large-scale dust outbreaks over northern Africa. See also these cases from March 2004 and 2007:
As can be seen in the animation, the RGB colour of the dust varies throughout the day, from dark magenta/blue (night) to bright magenta (midday).
This is typical for thin dust clouds at low elevations (1–2 km) over desert surfaces, when the temperature contrast between the dust cloud and the underlying surface changes a lot from day to night.
Thin dust clouds at high elevations do not show such a strong colour variation, but appear with a more stable reddish colour.
The dust caused airports in Tel Aviv and Haifa in Israel to close and in Cyprus it was reported that dust levels were up to five times the normal levels.
Download Dust RGB product with geopotential height of the pressure level 300 hPa, 28 February 2014, 12:00 UTC (Credit: EUMeTrain)
Latest case studies
Melting Greenland ice sheet cools North Atlantic Ocean
Observing the cooling of the North Atlantic Ocean during the last decade, using weather satellites.
Smoke and burned areas from Greek fires
Smoke and burned area scars from the Greek wildfires in Aug 2021 seen in satellite imagery.
Large smoke plume from wildfires in Russia
In Summer 2021 Russia saw unprecedented widespread wildfires ravage large swathes of Siberia.
Widespread smoke from Turkish fires
In summer 2021 parts of the Mediterranean Sea were shrouded in smoke from wildfires along Turkey's coast.
Devastating floods in western Europe
Catastrophic floods hit Germany, Belgium and parts of West Europe mid July 2021.