Orange snow falls in Europe, caused by Sahara's sand

Algeria adds touch of sepia to Italy's winter wonderland

Skiers wearing protective face masks sit on a chairlift as Sahara sand colours the snow and the sky in orange and creates a special light atmosphere, during the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak, in the Alpine resort of Anzere, Switzerland, on Saturday, 6 February 2021. (Laurent Gillieron/Keystone via AP)
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Visitors who signed up for a sled ride pulled by huskies in north-western Italy last weekend were in for a surprise – a ride through a desert-hued landscape.

Red sand from the Sahara Desert fell on the snow-covered landscapes of the Italian Alps on Saturday, turning the winter wonderland a pale orange shade.

The alpine village of Sestriere, in Piemonte region, was blanketed as were several regions of Europe over the past week.

Giorgia Grangetto, a tour guide for the Husky Experience, joked that it was like giving a tour in the Sahara Desert.

The European Commission’s Copernicus satellite monitoring programme said measured levels of particles smaller than 10 micrometre – called PM10s – increased in places such as Barcelona, Spain and in the French cities of Lyon and Marseille on Sunday.

The cloud of fine sand blown north-wards from Algeria tinted skies red and mixed with fresh snowfall.