Orange Snow Blankets Eastern Europe, Turning the Landscape into Mars
On Friday and over the weekend, orange-tinted snow covered parts of Eastern Europe, turning countries like Russia, Bulgaria, Moldova, Romania and Ukraine into what looked like post-Apocalyptic scenes. This left residents of these countries baffled, and posts all over social media made references to “skiing on Mars”.
Despite the unearthly occurrence, meteorologists say the phenomenon actually occurs once ever several years, typically caused by sand from storms in the Sahara Desert mixing with snow and rain. However, this time, the concentrations of sand are much higher, where some even complained of sand getting in their mouths. One meteorologist, Steven Keates, said the sand can spread once it reaches the upper levels of the atmosphere.
A satellite image taken by NASA on Friday showed dust was clearly visible in a light brown streak mixed in with white clouds above Easter Europe. “Looking at satellite imagery from [NASA], it shows a lot of sand and dust in the atmosphere drifting across the Mediterranean,” said Keates. “When it rains or snows, it drags down whatever is up there, if there is sand in the atmosphere.”