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Saharan Dust Between Italy and Greece – May 19th, 2013

39.0N 18.6E

May 19th, 2013 Category: Dust Storms, Image of the day, Winds

Mediterranean Sea – May 19th, 2013

A cloud of dust from the Sahara Desert blows across the Mediterranean Sea, hovering between Italy (left) and Greece (right). The dust is likely related to a phenomenon known as the Sirocco, a Mediterranean wind that comes from the Sahara and reaches hurricane speeds in North Africa and Southern Europe.

It arises from a warm, dry, tropical airmass that is pulled northward by low-pressure cells moving eastward across the Mediterranean Sea, with the wind originating in the Arabian or Sahara deserts. The hotter, drier continental air mixes with the cooler, wetter air of the maritime cyclone, and the counter-clockwise circulation of the low propels the mixed air across the southern coasts of Europe.

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