BBC News: Russia probes smelly orange snow

How often do you hear about weird snow on the news? In a creepy coincidence with the theme of my only-just-released novel, Chion, here is something from the today’s BBC News (thanks to Ali for bringing it to my attention):

Russia has flown a team of chemical experts to a Siberian region to find out why smelly, coloured snow has been falling over several towns. Oily yellow and orange snowflakes fell over an area of more than 1,500sq km (570sq miles) in the Omsk region on Wednesday, Russian officials said.

Chemical tests were under way to determine the cause, they said.

Residents have been advised not to use the snow for household tasks or let animals graze on it.

“So far we cannot explain the snow, which is oily to the touch and has a pronounced rotten smell,” said Omsk environmental prosecutor Anton German, quoted by the Russian news agency Itar-Tass on Thursday.

“We are waiting for the results of a thorough test on samples.”

But Vladimir Gurzhey, an official with the civil defence ministry in Omsk, told the Russia TV channel that the snow had four times the normal levels of iron in it.

The TV also reported that coloured snow had fallen in the neighbouring regions of Tomsk and Tyumen.

Omsk, in western Siberia, is a centre of Russia’s oil industry. About 27,000 people live in the areas affected by the snow, Russian officials said.


[ Link ]

4 thoughts on “BBC News: Russia probes smelly orange snow

  1. Jeffrey Allen Davis

    LOL! After listening to the MP3 file, I felt rather awkward about taking our dog for a walk in the newly fallen snow yesterday morning. I mentioned this (and plugged your new book) in my blogs yesterday at WordPress and MySpace.

  2. Darryl Sloan

    That’s the beauty of publishing a book like mine in winter (although it hasn’t snowed in Ireland yet); I’m glad I skipped my old September deadline.

    Thanks for the plugs, Jeff! Much appreciated.

  3. A.P. Fuchs

    This story reminds me of the recent falling of a 100lb hailstone in FL Friday. Though I’m sure the orange snow will be explained at some point, the hailstone seems something of a phenomenon. Or perhaps a foreshadow of the events of Revelation. A warning shot from Heaven, perhaps?

  4. Darryl Sloan

    The snow seems to be oil-related. But how the oil got into the atmosphere and why it reacted with snow in this way is bizarre.

    On the matter of giant hail: as for the end of the world being nigh, I’m afraid our views differ radically (said he diplomatically, trying hard not to open a can of worms the size of Gibraltar).

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