Dust Storm Across Syria, Iraq and Iran - stock photo
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Dust Storm Across Syria, Iraq and Iran

In this image, a dust storm makes its way across Syria (upper left), Iraq (center), and Iran (right). Dust and sand storms in the Middle East and other arid regions tend to come in two forms. Haboobs are intense short-lived dust storms and often appear as walls of sand marching across the landscape. Then there are the long-lived, wide-reaching dust storms that can last for days. In Iraq, such storms are often associated with the shamal, a pattern of persistent northwesterly winds. In early September 2015, a storm with characteristics of both the shamal and the haboob moved across the Persian Gulf region. The Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA's Terra satellite captured this natural-color image of the dust storm on September 1. The dust event first appeared along the Syria-Iraq border (upper left in image) on August 31. By the next day, the storm took on the cyclonic shape visible in this image. By September 2, the dust cloud reached the Persian Gulf.

Science Source / NASA/Jeff Schmaltz, LANCE/EOSDIS Rapid Response

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