African dust turns snow orange in Eastern Europe

NASA's Terra satellite shows a dust plume (light brown) over portions of eastern Europe on Friday, March 23, 2018. Areas of cloudiness are shown in white.

The Weather Channel.com — Orange snow was spotted in the eastern European countries of Russia, Bulgaria, Ukraine, Romania and Moldova on Friday after African dust from the Sahara Desert engulfed the region.

Ski resorts looked more like sandy beaches, and several eyewitnesses compared this to the surface of Mars, the Daily Mail reported.

The phenomenon occurs roughly once every five years but concentrations were higher than usual this time, according to the BBC.

Saharan dust yielded very hazy conditions in  Crete, on Thursday as strong southerly winds blew the dust across the Mediterranean Sea. It’s approximately 225 miles from the northern Africa coast to Crete, but Saharan dust can actually travel much farther.

There are times when the dust blows all the way across the Atlantic Ocean into the southern United States – a distance of more than 4,000 miles.