Cloud of Dust from Western Africa Over Atlantic Ocean9.5N 17.8W
An extremely thick cloud of dust from the Sahara Desert can be seen blowing off the coast of Ivory Coast and Ghana in West Africa and over the Atlantic Ocean in this image, completely obscuring everything below. The dust has been affecting much of the coastline of West Africa, Mauritania and Senegal over the last few days. Click here for an image of dust from the same storm blowing over the Cape Verde Islands.
A dust storm (also known as a sand storm) is a meteorological phenomenon common in arid and semi-arid regions. Dust storms arise when a gust front or other strong wind blows loose sand and dirt from a dry surface. Particles are transported by saltation and suspension, causing soil to move from one place and deposition in another. The Sahara and drylands around the Arabian peninsula are the main terrestrial sources of airborne dust.