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Breathtaking Scenes as African Sand Turns Snow on Crete Pink

A thin layer of sand is seen atop the snow-covered Cretan mountains. Credit: Facebook/Irene Kalaitzaki

The snow covering the mountains on the Greek island of Crete has created its own unique palette of color, taking on pink and orange hues during the last several days due to southerly winds coming from Africa.
The strong winds which blew into Greece over the last several days, bringing enormous quantities of dust from the Sahara desert, have created a rare and unique phenomenon on the island.
The snow-covered tops of the Cretan mountains, including Leuka Ori, have seemingly captured a huge amount of the African sand and dust which had been transported in the upper atmosphere all the way from the Sahara in the recent storms.
This has resulted in the creation of a pinkish orange layer of fine sand and dust atop the snow which fell during the past several storms which recently swept across Greece.
According to meteorologists, this phenomenon is not unusual, but is not exactly common, and presents a breathtaking vista to onlookers.
The beautiful phenomenon may have a sinister side, however. Because of its darker color, the sand may cause a faster melting of the snow on Crete’s mountains than is normal. This could even cause localized flooding, because the snowmelt won’t have time to be absorbed by the soil.

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