Dust hovered over the Atlantic Ocean in early January 2013, continuing an intermittent pattern of dust-storm activity in the region. On January 7, 2013, the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Aqua satellite captured this natural-color image. A veil of dust stretched from the coast of Mauritania westward to Cape Verde.
Sand seas cover most of Mauritania and parts of Western Sahara. Some of the dust might have arisen in Mauritania, but also may have traveled from farther inland, such as Mali. Dust-choked winds are recurring natural hazards in both countries.