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From: Dan Richter (1:317/3)
To: All
Date: Fri, 02.04.21 13:00
MODIS Pic of the Day 02 April 2021
April 2, 2021 - Spanish Dust


Dust over Spain

Saharan dust swept across Portugal and Spain in late March 2021,
tinting skies orange and creating widespread haze. The Moderate
Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on board NASA’s Aqua
satellite acquired a true-color image of the waning dust storm on March
31. On that day, haze hung over most of the Iberian Peninsula with a
river-like plume of dust flowing northward across central Spain and
spreading over the Bay of Biscay. The dust appeared to entrain with
cloud over the North Atlantic Ocean. Dust also spread across France and
was reported in the United Kingdom.

A system off the coast of Morocco began pushing dust from the Sahara
Desert on March 26. Spain and Portugal were heavily covered on March 27
and March 28-30. By March 31 the sand and dust were sweeping north,
leaving only a relatively small amount hanging over the Iberian

Each year more than 180 million tons of dust blow from the Sahara
Desert of North Africa, lofted and transported by strong seasonal
winds. Huge plumes travel westward across the tropical Atlantic Ocean
towards South America each year, causing haze and carrying nutrients
that fertilize the ocean and rainforests. While the cross-Atlantic
route may be particularly dramatic, Saharan Dust often pours northward
to cover Europe.

Image Facts
Satellite: Aqua
Date Acquired: 3/31/2021
Resolutions: 1km (2.3 MB), 500m (6.2 MB), 250m (4 MB)
Bands Used: 1,4,3
Image Credit: MODIS Land Rapid Response Team, NASA GSFC

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