Orange snow blankets parts of Russia

Residents of the city of Saratov, some 858 km from the Russian capital, have been shocked as they looked out of the windows and saw their neighborhoods covered with orange snow.

The residents shared the news in social networks as the colorful snow appeared to be seen in almost all parts of the city. Its color varied from light yellow to intensive orange.

Such unconventional snowfall caused numerous concerns among the city people. Some social network users were worried that could be radioactive or could contain harmful chemical substances. Others were afraid they had problems with eyes and color vision.

Local residents contacted the Svobodnye Novosti news agency, which quizzed an expert on the phenomenon.

Saratov weather forecast service director Mikhail Boltukhin said it was quite a common event and it was absolutely harmless for people and animals. He said the orange snow was caused by a cyclone from the Western Sahara which brought some sand from the African desert to Russia.

The air coming from the West contains tiny particles of sand, which give the falling snow an orange hue,” Boltukhin said. “Similar phenomena have been observed recently in various districts of the region and in other parts of the country, particularly in Crimea.”

There are no toxic substances, as it is natural sand, the expert added.

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