Sand and dust storms (hereafter, "sandstorms") not only damage the ecological environment in northern and northwestern China but also influence the economic and social development of the affected regions and constitute a threat to human health. This study focuses on monitoring sandstorms and analyzing the sandstorm migration process in northern and northwestern China. These sandstorms are characterized by their high frequency occurrences, strong dust intensity, long durations and highly destructive effects. The dry climate conditions and low degree of vegetation coverage in this region increase the difficulty of sandstorm monitoring. This paper proposes a remote sensing monitoring method for sandstorms in northern and northwestern China based on Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) data and the radiation characteristics of the research region and of the sandstorms. A strong sandstorm that occurred on April 23–25, 2014, is analyzed to illustrate the proposed monitoring method. Information on the sandstorm is validated and analyzed through visual interpretation and comparison with Meteorological Information Comprehensive Analysis and Process System (MICAPS) ground measurements. The spatial distribution of the sandstorm is highly consistent with the true-color MODIS data. The comparison of the results of the remote sensing monitoring of the sandstorm with the MICAPS measurements yields a high coincidence rate of 96.3%. Additionally, the migration process of the sandstorm can be clearly recognized in 6 MODIS images captured during the 3-day sandstorm. Based on the above results, we conclude that the proposed method can be used for dynamic remote sensing monitoring of sandstorms in northern and northwestern China.