Blowing dust across southern Colorado

April 6th, 2012 |
Aqua MODIS true-color RGB image (viewed using Google Earth)

Aqua MODIS true-color RGB image (viewed using Google Earth)

Strong winds across southern Colorado (gusting as high as 60 mph at Alamosa, and 77 mph at Monarch Pass) were creating areas of blowing dust across that region on 06 July 2012. A 1-km resolution Aqua MODIS true-color Red/Green/Blue (RGB) image (above; viewed using Google Earth) showed a long plume of blowing dust originating in the San Luis Valley, which was then being lofted northeastward over the Sangre de Cristo Range (which contains some peaks over 14,000 feet high).

A comparison of the 18:07 UTC Terra MODIS and the 19:47 UTC Aqua MODIS true-color RGB images from the SSEC MODIS Today site (below) revealed how much the blowing dust plume grew in size during that relatively short time period. At times the blowing dust reduced surface visibility to 1 mile at Alamosa, and 6 miles at Colorado Springs.

Terra and Aqua MODIS true-color RGB images

Terra and Aqua MODIS true-color RGB images