Climate, Europe, Science, Snow, Weather

Weird orange snow captivates skiers in eastern Europe

About every five years, the snow turns orange in parts of eastern Europe.

That happened again over the weekend, stunning skiers in Russia, Romania, Bulgaria, and other places in the region, with photos of the oddity appearing on social media.

According to The Independent, the phenomenon is understood to be the result of Sahara Desert sand and dust being carried into the atmosphere, where it mixes with snow and rain, and is then dumped over areas in eastern Europe.

“There has been a lot of lifted sand or dust originating from North Africa and the Sahara, from sand storms which have formed in the desert,” UK Met Office meteorologist Steven Keates told the newspaper.  

“As the sand gets lifted to the upper levels of the atmosphere, it gets distributed elsewhere.”

NASA satellite imagery shows plumes of dust from the Sahara moving across the Mediterranean, north toward the east of Europe. The Athens Observatory said in a Facebook post it was one of the biggest transfers of dust from the desert to Greece.

A deep plume of dust moves from Saharan Africa, across Egypt, Israel and other areas of Middle East, toward the north.

Earlier this year, a rare winter storm peppered the usually arid Sahara Desert with snow. Guess you could consider the favour returned.

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