14 Jun '18, 5pm

Waves of Dust Over the Red Sea

In June 2018, winds lofted dust from the Sahara Desert and carried it over the Red Sea. On June 14, the dust storm had been blowing for about a week. (You can browse satellite imagery in Worldview to see how the storm evolved over time.) But on June 11, the dust had a peculiar appearance. The Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Aqua satellite acquired this natural-color image of a wave pattern in the dust. Leigh Munchak, a meteorologist at Weather Analytics (previously at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center), noticed the dusty waves in the June 11 satellite image and pointed them out on Twitter . She thinks the pattern is likely due to gravity waves in the atmosphere, caused by wind shear. “In this case, hot, dusty desert air is slowed down by the ocean surface,” she said. “The top of the air layer is moving faster than the cooler, denser bottom ...

Full article: https://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/NaturalHazards/view.php...

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