WHAT’S BEING CLAIMED:
- A strange phenomenon turned the snow orange across Russia, Romania Bulgaria, and other countries in Eastern Europe over the weekend.
- The BBC reported that the orange snow is a result of sandstorms carried into the atmosphere from the Sahara Desert mixing with rain and snow, before falling in the area.
- According to meteorologists, the rare phenomenon occurs roughly every five years and has previously occurred in other parts of the world.
Skiers and snowboarders posted photos of the orange-tinted snow in social media which is falling in Russia and several countries in Eastern Europe. Most photos posted were taken at a resort near Sochi, Russia.
Storms from northern Africa combined with sand and dust from the Sahara desert and then mixed with snow and rain in Eastern Europe and Russia turned the snow orange. On Thursday, the skies in Greek island of Crete turn to orange caused by the same phenomenon.
The sandstorm could be seen via NASA satellite imagery making its way from Greece to Russia.
Steven Keates, a meteorologist who works for the U.K.’s national weather service, the Met Office, said that the orange snow is brought about by sand being picked up into the upper layers of the atmosphere and dispersed out by the wind and weather patterns.
“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,” Keates told The Independent.
“Looking at satellite imagery from NASA, it shows a lot of sand and dust in the atmosphere drifting across the Mediterranean. When it rains or snows, it drags down whatever is up there, if there is sand in the atmosphere.”
The orange snow phenomenon has been seen previously in other parts of the world, Keates said.