'Orange snow' baffles eastern Europeans

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Scene from the Russian CaucasusImage source, Margarita Alshina
Image caption,
The Russian Caucasus. The phenomenon has been seen across several countries

People in eastern Europe have been wondering at the appearance of orange-tinted snow.

Pictures of the snow have been posted on social media from Russia, Bulgaria, Ukraine, Romania and Moldova.

Meteorologists say the phenomenon is caused by sand from Sahara desert storms mixing with snow and rain.

It occurs roughly once every five years but concentrations of sand are higher than usual this time. People have complained of sand in their mouths.

Skiers and snowboarders from resorts near the Russian city of Sochi sent pictures of the unusual scenes.

Image source, Katrin JD
Image source, Margarita Alshina
Image source, Ksusha Knopik