A dust storm swallowed parts of Iraq for multiple days in early April of this year. As a result, these storms turned the skies orange, reducing visibility and degrading air quality.
The storm is visible in the image above. These images were taken on the 7th and 9th of April by the satellites of weather companies like NOAA! On April 7th, most of this dust was drifting over Northern Iraq. Just 2 days later on the 9th, this dust plume reached and passed Baghdad which is the nation’s capital.
Dust storms in Iraq are very common in the summer. These storms happen by strong winds which blow from the northwest. But these dust storms can happen in other different seasons as well. West Iraq sees more dust storms in the spring than in the other seasons. According to an article from the World Bank, North Iraq between the historical Tigris and Euphrates rivers and along the border of Syria has the most dust sources in the Middle East aka Arabia.
News reports from Iraq described many people with severe injuries getting hospitalized after the event. Many people also ended up with respiratory problems after the series of dust storms. Dust storms are storms that form when strong winds pick up sand in the desert. These storms are more frequent in desert regions and can cause injuries and breathing problems in humans and animals!
Author: Sri Nihal Tammana
Source: NASA Earth Observatory
PC: NASA Earth Observatory