Remarkable dust cloud over Iceland

Remarkable dust cloud over Iceland

17 September 2008 00:00 UTC

Remarkable dust cloud over Iceland
Remarkable dust cloud over Iceland

Winds from ex-hurricane Ike gives rise to a remarkable dust cloud over Iceland.

Last Updated

22 October 2020

Published on

17 September 2008

by HansPeter Roesli (EUMETSAT)

On 17 September 2008 a low-pressure area (ex-hurricane Ike) was centred over the west coast of Greenland (see ECMWF analysis , 12:00 UTC). The kink in the MSL pressure field over Iceland is indicative of orographically amplified winds in the area. Over the northeastern part of the island the strong down-slope winds raised dust from the fine-grained soil of the coastal plane. Both, dust storms and the passage of decayed hurricanes are rare events in Iceland. The multi-spectral imager MODIS on-board the NASA Terra satellite shows the dust plume and its source around local noon (see MODIS RGB composite at 12:24 UTC , source: NASA). The image is taken from the NASA Earth Observatory website , where more general information may be found.

Despite the high viewing angle and resulting coarse spatial resolution, animated Meteosat-9 Dust RGB images show the evolution over time of the event reasonably well (see link below the image). The raising of the dust over land and subsequent fanning out over the sea is clear to see. The high-resolution visible (HRV) images (see Animation , 09:30–16:30 UTC) provide some more details like the slow fluctuation of the dust plume at its source.

A comparison of the Terra MODIS image at 500 m spatial resolution with the Meteosat-9 HRV image (see matching image ) shows a good match in the position of the dust cloud. It also illustrates the large parallax error at this latitude even for the low-level clouds close to the coastline.

Meteosat-9 Dust RGB Product

Met-9, 17 September 2008, 12:45 UTC
RGB Composite IR12.0–IR10.8, IR10.8–IR8.7, IR10.8
Full Resolution
Animation (08:00–17:45 UTC)


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