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Middle East Sandstorm: Earth Image of the Week October 1, 2010
Satellite Image of California coastal fog
Clouds of sand were especially thick over southern Syria, northern Israel and southern parts of Lebanon.
A blinding sandstorm raged across parts of the Middle East on Sunday, September 26, causing low visibilities and prompting health officials to warn of respiratory problems.

When NASA’s Terra satellite passed over the region at 10 a.m. local time, a vast cloud of desert sand could be seen swirling across barren regions of Syria and Jordan, eastward to the Mediterranean Sea.

A particularly dense corridor of sand was being channeled by the terrain from south of Damascus, across the Golan Heights and out to sea from far northern Israel.

Officials in the Jordanian capital of Amman warned residents to take precautions against breathing the airborne sand.

Motorists were cautioned to be especially careful while driving in the outer desert regions, where visibilities would be near zero at times.

By Monday afternoon, the clouds of sand had nearly disappeared along the Mediterranean coastal strip from Beirut to near Gaza.

But a less dense layer of the dust still lingered across many inland parts of the Middle East.

Image: NASA MODIS Rapid Response System