The Strange Beauty of Sandstorms

Powerful winds recently drove sand from the Sahara Desert across the Mediterranean Sea into southern Europe and as far as the ski slopes in Sochi, Russia, turning skies red and leaving behind orange-frosted snow. Dust storms range from the size of a tiny dust devil, to a cloud that might cover a continent. In dry regions, strong winds can suddenly create a “haboob,” a rolling wall of sand or dust that rises thousands of feet in the air, blanketing an area ahead of a storm. Some storms can whip particles high into the atmosphere for days, carrying sand across oceans. Gathered here are images from recent years of dust storms, sandstorms, haboobs, and the eerie skies that accompany these phenomena.

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