A massive dust storm swept out of the southern Sahara desert and over west African coastal countries in late March, 2010. The dust storm caused the cancellation of airplane flights and posed a potential health hazard to numerous residents in the area. The capital city of Nigeria, Lagos, was cloaked in a twilight haze. According to weather experts, this event was an unusually late season manifestation of the harmattan.
The Atmospheric Infrared Sounder (AIRS) provides near-real-time (NRT) data that allows the observation of events like these while they are happening, with the data available just hours after the satellite passes over a particular region. The data is provided via the GES DISC's Web Map Service (WMS). Successive AIRS images in the AIRS image gallery provide a daily look at the progression of this storm over Africa and the Atlantic Ocean.
African Dust Storms (each image shown here can be clicked to see a much larger version)
AIRS Image Gallery
More information: AIRS NRT data and services.