On 13 May 2004, Meteosat-8 observed five major dust storms within a satellite field of view of about 1200 x 900 pixels.
21 October 2020
13 May 2013
One image was over Libya; one over Iraq; one over Saudi Arabia; one over Iran, and several smaller ones over Sudan.
The dust storms over Iraq and Saudi Arabia are related to strong post-frontal north-westerly winds.
This situation, which typically persists for 24–36 hours and occurs 2/3 times a month, is called Shamal (from the Arabic for north).
The dust storms over Sudan, which appear very clearly in the IR12.0–IR10.8 brightness temperature difference image (which reached extreme values of up to +6 K), are probably also related to the cold air outbreak from Eastern Europe to Northern Africa and the Arabian Peninsula.
These dust storms also severely affected the Darfur region in Sudan. MSG, with its capability to observe wildfires and dust storms in the whole area at a frequency of 15 minutes, plays an essential role in helping the United Nations to coordinate their humanitarian aid activities.
The MODIS RGB composite image below shows the dust storm from Western Iraq on the following day as it moved over the Gulf of Arabia.
RGB Composite (pixel size 1000 m)
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