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Dust Over Red Sea and Gulf of Aden

11.8N 42.7E

July 1st, 2012 Category: Dust Storms

Dust over Red Sea – June 26th, 2012

Dust hangs over the Red Sea (above) and the Gulf of Aden (right). While the cloud of dust is thicker over the former, interesting criss-cross patterns in the dust, caused by changes in wind direction, can be seen over the latter. The two bodies of water are connected by the Bab-el-Mandeb Strait, a strait located between Yemen on the Arabian Peninsula, Djibouti and Eritrea, north of Somalia, in the Horn of Africa. The dust spreads over those neighboring countries as well.

Dust Over the Afar Depression, Ethiopia and Eritrea

12.3N 40.7E

June 10th, 2012 Category: Dust Storms

Ethiopia - June 9th, 2012

Dust blows across the Red Sea and the Bab-el-Mandeb Strait (upper right), over Eritrea (by the coast) and over Ethiopia. In Ethiopia, it is hemmed in and funneled southwards by the mountains bordering the Afar Region. The name of the funnel-shaped area is the Afar Depression or Afar Triangle, a geological depression that is caused by the Afar Triple Junction which is part of the Great Rift Valley. It overlaps Eritrea, Djibouti and the entire Afar Region of Ethiopia. Visible near the left edge, unaffected by the dust, is the green Lake Tana.

Dust Over Red Sea and Gulf of Aden, Between Arabian Peninsula and Africa

13.8N 43.6E

June 6th, 2012 Category: Dust Storms

Arabian Peninsula - June 5th, 2012

Dust blows between the Arabian Peninsula and the African continent, clouding the skies over Yemen (center) and Eritrea, Djibouti, Ethiopia and Somalia (left to right, below). A veil of dust also covers the Red Sea (left), the Bab el Mandeb Strait and the Gulf of Aden (bodies of water from left to right). The dust likely originates in the Rub’ al Khali, the large, extremely arid desert in the lower part of the Arabian Peninsula.

Dust Blowing Across Red Sea and Over Ethiopia

12.1N 37.3E

May 31st, 2012 Category: Dust Storms, Lakes

Red Sea - May 31st, 2012

Dust blows from the Arabian Peninsula, across the Red Sea, and over Eritrea, Djibouti and Ethiopia. A ridge of mountains in Ethiopia seems to keep the dust from blowing further westward, over Lake Tana (the green body of water near the image center). The lake is the source of the Blue Nile, located in the Amhara Region in the north-western Ethiopian highlands. The country’s largest lake, it is approximately 84 kilometers long and 66 kilometers wide, with a maximum depth of 15 meters, and an elevation of 1,840 meters.

Mountains and Lowlands of the Horn of Africa

9.3N 47.7E

November 18th, 2011 Category: Mountains

Somalia - November 14th, 2011

The Horn of Africa is a peninsula in East Africa that juts hundreds of kilometers into the Arabian Sea and lies along the southern side of the Gulf of Aden. It is the easternmost projection of the African continent, and denotes the region containing the countries of Eritrea, Djibouti, Ethiopia and Somalia.

The Horn of Africa covers approximately 2,000,000 km² (770,000 sq mi). It consists chiefly of mountains uplifted through the formation of the Great Rift Valley, with the highest peaks in the Semien Mountains of northwestern Ethiopia.

The lowlands of the Horn are generally arid in spite of their proximity to the equator. This is because the winds of the tropical monsoons that give seasonal rains to the Sahel and the Sudan blow from the west. Consequently, they lose their moisture upon reaching Djibouti and Somalia, with the result that most of the Horn receives little rainfall during the monsoon season. On the windward side in the west and center of Ethiopia and the extreme south of Eritrea, monsoonal rainfall is heavy.


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