Orange snow blanketed many spots in Russia and Eastern Europe over the weekend after snowstorms picked up sand and dust before ravaging through Europe.
As The Independent reported, storms in northern Africa collected sand, dust and pollen from the Sahara Desert and blew it across Europe. The sand mixed with the rain and snow, which led to orange snow falling from the sky.
Steven Keates, of the Met Office, told The Independent that orange snow has fallen before in many places across the world.
“There has been a lot of lifted sand or dust originating from North Africa and the Sahara, from sandstorms which have formed in the desert,” he said.
Keates said the storms carried the sand into the upper layers of the atmosphere. The rain and snow then returned all of the dust and sand down to the ground during the storms.
The Athens Observatory told CNN on Friday that the orange snow was “one of the largest transfers of desert sand to Greece from the Sahara ever.”
Skiers and snowboards shared photos of the unusual scene, while others “complained of sand in their mouths,” according to BBC.
And, according to Business Insider, one video showed orange skies in Palaiokastro, Crete, Greece, from the dust.1 comment on this story
Orange snow previously fell in Siberia back in 2007, according to The Guardian. Locals said at the time that the snow had a foul smell and an oily texture. One theory posited that the snow was a result of chemical pollution.
Earlier this year, white snow fell in the Sahara Desert, which has happened in previous years as well.
“It seems only fair that the Sahara comes to the snow after the snow came to the Sahara in December 2016 — the first time since 1979. And it's done so again in 2017 and this January, too,” according to Science Alert.