The Sea-viewing Wide Field-of-view Sensor (SeaWiFS) captured this
true-color image of many large dust plumes blowing oceanward from Baja
California, Mexico. At various places among the yellowish-brown dust
plumes, whiter smoke plumes are also visible; including a small smoke
plume (visible in the high-resolution image) coming
from the Fallbrook, California, area.
The Fallbrook wildfire is located roughly 75 km (47 miles) due north of
San Diego, and about 115 km (70 miles) due west of the Salton Sea.
According to regional newspaper reports, the Fallbrook blaze has already
consumed at least 40 structures, including a number of homes, and
injured 11 people. High winds are fanning the flames toward Camp
Pendleton Marine Corps Base.
Image courtesy the SeaWiFS Project,
NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center, and ORBIMAGE
In October 2007, strong, dry Santa Ana winds raised a major dust plume and several minor plumes on the Baja California peninsula. The light brown dust spread west to the Pacific Ocean (image top right). Because they are warm, dry, and strong, Santa Ana winds reduce soil moisture and famously promote dust storms such as this.