On 25 August 2004, Meteosat-8 observed a large plume of Saharan desert dust blowing over the Canary Islands.
24 May 2022
25 August 2004
The dust plume, which is best seen in the High-Resolution Visible (HRV) image, was drawn into a low pressure system situated to the north-west of the Canary Islands. Advected by southerly winds, the dust also reached the Iberian Peninsula later in the day.
Other features seen in the animated HRV images are:
- The effects of trade winds blowing from the north-east, forming stratocumulus cloud over the northern parts of the Canary Islands (Gran Canaria, Tenerife, La Gomera, El Hierro, and La Palma).
- Dust coming from the south-east is ascending above the inversion, which is lower in the east and higher to the west.
- The mixing of dry, warm Saharan air with cold, moist Atlantic air, resulting in the 'drying out' of the stratocumulus clouds (warm, dry air + cold saturated air = moderately warm, but unsaturated air). This mixing of air masses largely destroys the low-level inversion.
- Towards the end of the animation sequence, a very big convective system can be seen in the lower right corner of the image, located over western Sahara.
MODIS image of the dust storm (25 Aug 2004, 12:05 UTC, 1km resolution. Source: NASA)
Similar dust cases
Large dust cloud over the Canary Islands
Around the 12 January, a high layer of dust moved from north-western Africa covering the area around the Canary Islands, impacting visibility.