Dust storm over the Mediterranean Sea

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

Date & Time
21 February 2004 00:00 UTC

More information and detailed analysis of the feature can be found in the In Depth section.


In Depth

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.

Dust storm over the Mediterranean Sea
Dust storm over the Mediterranean Sea
Met-8, 21 February 2004, 12:00 UTC
RGB Composite HRV, HRV, IR10.8
Full Resolution (810 KB)
Animation (07:00–12:00 UTC, GIF, 6 MB)
Met-8, 21 February 2004, 13:00 UTC
RGB Composite
IR12.0–IR10.8, IR10.8–IR8.7, IR10.8
Full Resolution (272 KB)
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