On 25 August 2004, Meteosat-8 observed a large plume of Saharan desert dust blowing over the Canary Islands.
21 October 2020
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 the Western Sahara.
Dust storm over Western Africa and the Canary Islands (03 March 2004)
MODIS image of the dust storm (25 Aug 2004, 12:05 UTC, 1 km resolutionsource: NASA)
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