If you have stumbled upon photographs of orange snow on the mountains in Eastern Europe, they are not filtered to look like that!
The color of rust was brought from the Sahara desert winds that reached north over the Mediterranean Sea, landing in Russia, Bulgaria, Ukraine, Romania, and Moldova. The orange dust arrived last Friday and was brought by rain or snow.
Surreal and unusual scenes are the result of a mix of sand, dust and pollen particles, a phenomenon that happens almost every five years, according to meteorologists.
The desert winds have been seen on satellite imagery from Nasa. Steven Keates, the weather forecaster with the UK’s Met Office, said that looking at those images, “it shows a lot of sand and dust in the atmosphere drifting across the Mediterranean.”
“We’re Skiing on Mars Today!”
Social media was immediately taken by storm with photos of orange landscapes of snowy mountains. Some skiers joked saying that they were on Mars, not on a mountain. The Sochi ski resort was seen full of skiers that glided down orange slopes, and even the sky had an orange tint.
The Mediterranean sky was also streaked with shades of orange and yellow, to everyone’s amazement.
However, as we have said before, this phenomenon is not unique. The concentrations were indeed higher from the last time, though. The last orange snow occurred in 2007 in Siberia.
The oldest reports of colored snow have been written in the book Freaks of the Storm by Randy Cerveny. In 1755, ‘a huge mass of red material’ fell in form of a “six-foot-deep blood snowfall in the Alps”. Then, in 1810, newspapers wrote about “a shower of red snow” falling in Paris. Cerveny continues writing about Charles Darwin, who also saw the red snow in the Andes. There have been also reports of yellow or black snow!
Andre Blair s is the lead editor for Advocator.ca. He holds a B.A. in Psychology from the University of Toronto, and a Master of Science in Public Health (M.S.P.H.) from the School of Public Health, Department of Health Administration, at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Andre specializes in environmental health, but writes on a variety of issues.