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Riled Up is a journal of science, the environment, exploration, new technology, and related commentary.  Contributors include scientists, explorers, engineers, and others who provide perspectives and context not typically offered in general news circulation.  For interested readers, additional resources are included.

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Mediterranean Duststorms

Mediterranean Duststorms

 

North African Duststorm, 2-7-2018 (credit: MODIS imager, NASA Terra mission)

 

Sometimes, a single image can tell a big story. When massive duststorms blow north from Africa and provide the potential for rain.

According to NASA, the dust is carried north by warm scirocco winds originating over the Sahara. The dry air masses pick up marine moisture over the Mediterranean and move north towards coastal areas of Europe. The Terra Earth monitoring satellite imaged one such duststorm moving towards Italy. The desert winds can also bring above average temperatures while the sand-grains offer the potential for "cloud seeding" that produces rain.

The satellite image also shows that weather events can connect continents. A photo-animation also illustrates the extent to which African dust can affect much of Europe. WHB

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