On March 8, 2013 dust plumes rose from the Gobi Desert and blew along the China-Mongolia border. Strong winds kept the dust aloft for several days, and dust appeared as far eastward as Henan Province and as far south as the Sichuan Basin by March 13.
The Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Terra satellite captured this true-color image on March 9. The dust had continued traveling toward the southeast, and the camel-colored plume extended several hundred kilometers into eastern China. In the southeast (lower right corner of this image), the dust approached China’s coastal plain. Gray haze hung over that region and although the dust likely worsened air quality there, the gray color of the haze suggested other sources, such as urban and industrial smog, and smoke from fires. At least one fire sent a discernible smoke plume eastward, ahead of the dust.