Dust storm over the Mediterranean Sea

Dust storm over the Mediterranean Sea

21 February 2004 00:00 UTC

Dust storm over the Mediterranean Sea
Dust storm over the Mediterranean Sea

A major dust outbreak from Algeria to the western Mediterranean occurred on 21 February 2004 when a cyclone crossed Western Europe and north-western Africa.

Last Updated

20 April 2022

Published on

20 February 2004

A long trailing cold front was positioned in an unusually pronounced trough extending from the Azores across northern Africa to Western Europe. A cyclone, developed from a wave in this front, moved rapidly across the Balearics in a north-easterly direction, pushing sand and dust from the Sahara desert across the Mediterranean Sea. The dust, which even reached Central Europe, is clearly visible in HRV images and in RGB colour composites produced from brightness temperature differences of various IR window channels.

The images below also show the high-level frontal bands over northern Africa and Spain, together with lee waves formed by the Atlas, Sierra Morena and Sierra Nevada mountains.

Figure 1
Figure 1: Meteosat-8 RGB Composite HRV, IR10.8, 21 February 2004, 12:00 UTC
Land Surface Temperature
Figure 2: Meteosat-8 RGB Composite IR12.0–IR10.8, IR10.8–IR8.7, IR10.8 , 21 February 2004, 13:00 UTC