Large dust storms over Sudan, Libya and the Middle East

Large dust storms over Sudan, Libya & the Middle East

13 May 2004 12:00 UTC

Large dust storms over Sudan, Libya and the Middle East
Large dust storms over Sudan, Libya and the Middle East

On 13 May 2004, Meteosat-8 observed five major dust storms within a satellite field of view of about 1200 x 900 pixels.

Last Updated

24 May 2022

Published on

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 +6K), 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.

 
Met-8, 13 May 2004,109:00 UTC
Figure 1: Meteosat-8 Channel 09 (IR10.8), 13 May 2004,109:00 UTC. Animation (09:45–15:45 UTC)
 
Met-8, 13 May 2004, 10:00 UTC
Figure 2: Meteosat-8 Difference Image IR8.7–IR10.8, 13 May 2004, 10:00 UTC
Animation 1 (09:45–15:45 UTC) Animation 2 (09:45–16:00 UTC)
Met-8, 13 May 2004, 13:30 UTC
Figure 3: Meteosat-8 Difference Image IR12.0–IR10.8, 13 May 2004, 13:30 UTC
 
Met-8, 13 May 2004, 13:30 UTC
Figure 4: Meteosat-8 RGB Composite IR12.0–IR10.8, IR10.8–IR8.7, IR10.8, 13 May 2004, 13:30 UTC
 

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.

 

Large dust storms over Sudan, Libya and the Middle East
Figure 5: MODIS RGB Composite (pixel size 1000m), 14 May 2004, 07:00 UTC