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06 October 2011

Dust Storm over Northeastern Afghanistan

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A dust storm spanning hundreds of kilometers stretched from northern Afghanistan into neighboring countries in early October 2011. The Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Aqua satellite captured this natural-color image on October 5, 2011.
In places, the dust is thick enough to completely hide the land surface below, especially over southern Tajikistan and northeastern Afghanistan. In mountainous northeastern Afghanistan, dust-clogged air infiltrates valleys while skies over mountain peaks remain clear.
Sandy deserts extend from Turkmenistan into Uzbekistan and northern Afghanistan, providing material for dust plumes. Clouds fringe eastern margin of this dust storm, and the clouds could result from the same weather system that stirred the dust.
NASA image courtesy Jeff Schmaltz, MODIS Rapid Response Team at NASA GSFC. Caption by Michon Scott.