The Red Sea marks the division between Africa and the Middle East, but dust which may arise from Africa’s Sahara Desert or the Arabian Peninsula knows no such boundaries – wind-borne flows freely and frequently over the Red Sea.
In early June, 2013, strong winds filled the skies above both regions, and above the Red Sea, with copious amounts of camel-colored dust. The Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) aboard NASA’s Terra satellite captured this true-color image of one of many dusty days in the region on June 5.
In this image, the densest tan plume blows across the border of Sudan (north) and Eritrea (south), nearly obscuring the land and the blue waters of the Red Sea from view. Sand also covers land-locked Ethiopia (south) and a very dense, thin plume blows from Djibouti and northern Somalia across the Gulf of Aden. The dust thins as it crosses the Red Sea, covering Yemen (south) and Saudi Arabia with a fine veil. Egypt, in the northeast, remains relatively dust free.