1869: Reddish snow falls across central France


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Dust from the Sahara Desert in Africa is the main source of dust in the atmosphere on a yearly basis across the world. The dust has its origins principally in the remains of centuries old dry lake beds, mainly in the country of Chad. This dust is presentient and often times lifts into the low atmosphere creating a general haze across north central Africa. Because of its presence, storms and seasonal, or trade winds often pick up huge amounts of the dust and dirt and send it thousands of miles away from Africa – sometimes halfway around the world. The presence of the dust in Hurricane season can often act as a deterrent to the formation of tropical systems suppressing the formation of water droplets and clouds. Sometimes this dust makes it all the west into the Caribbean. It can cause travel disruptions diverting aircraft and interfering with radio waves. The most pronounced visible manifestation of the dust is in Europe. Often lifted high into the atmosphere from storms approaching the northwest coast of Africa or Portugal. The dust often settles into the lower atmosphere causing red sunrises and sunsets – but sometimes it’s washed out of the sky by rain and even more striking by snow. Such events, in the past, have resulted in superstitious approaches to the weather events. On March 10 1869 a reddish snow fell all day across central France. Some locals panicked because they thought it was colored in blood. Africans and scientists knew what the source of the red appearance was. The origin of the red color was the dust raised from the dry lake beds of Chad.

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