Dust Storms

Streaks of dust from Namibia soar over the Atlantic.

Hot, dry berg winds swept down from the Namibian highlands and sent these plumes of dust flying out to the Atlantic coast. Another plume — white instead of brown — marks salt dust from the Etosha Pan salt flat. The dust and salt become aerosol particles in the atmosphere — seeds for raindrops to form. Coastal towns sometimes need construction equipment to deal with the drifting sand from these storms, but these storms are small compared to Saharan dust storms. Those storms are so large that their dust influences the weather on the other side of the Atlantic. (Image credit: W. Liang; via NASA Earth Observatory)

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