Orange snow carpets parts of eastern Europe

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Parts of eastern Europe, especially mountainous regions in Ukraine, Russia, Moldova, Bulgaria and Romania, transformed into Mars-like landscape on March 23 – 25, 2018 as sand and dust from desert storms in northern Africa caused snow to turn orange.

According to meteorologists, the phenomenon occurs roughly every five years, as a mix of sand, dust and pollen particles from African storms is stirred up with rain and snow, then swept across parts of Europe.

Skiers and snowboarders from different locations in eastern Europe have shared some extraordinary images of the orange snow on social media.

“As the sand gets lifted to the upper levels of the atmosphere, it gets distributed elsewhere,” said Steven Keates, a weather forecaster at the UK’s Met Office.

“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.”

Image credit: Copernicus Sentinel-2A, Libya, March 22

Satellite image taken on March 26, shows that the conditions in Sahara and Mediterranian continue stirring up dust clouds all over the eastern and central Mediterranean and Aegean region.

The dust cloud is expected to move across Crete and Greece, heading towards northwest Turkey. Some parts of it could reach as far north as Poland.

Nasa Terra / MODIS satellite image of the Mediterranean, March 26. Credit: Severe-weather.eu.

University of Athens forecast map on the dust cloud on March 27.

University of Athens SKIRON model forecast for March 27

Featured image: Margarita Alshina / Rosa Khutor, Sochi, Russia March 2018

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