Desert sand tints European ski resorts to resemble the moon -- or Mars
March 26 (UPI) -- It looks like a moonscape -- or the surface of Mars.
Sand blown in from the Sahara Desert has turned the snow orange at a few ski resorts in Eastern Europe.
A low pressure system over Europe pushed sand from the North African desert into the atmosphere, depositing it across Russia, Bulgaria, Ukraine, Georgia, Romania and Moldova on Friday.
By Monday the buildup of sand on snow was sufficient to make the snow look orange.
Last week, the sand prompted hazy condition on Crete, Greece's largest island. The cloud was visible even by weather satellites.
Ski resorts in Russia and Georgia -- including Sochi, Russia, the site of the 2014 Winter Olympics -- resembled sandy beaches.
Experts say the phenomenon typically occurs once every five years, but rarely with the impact seen over the weekend.
When wind conditions reverse, African sand is sometimes even deposited in the United States -- 4,000 miles away.