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Georgia’s Goderdzi resort turned into vanilla ice cream “wonderland” by pink snow
26 March, 2018
Recently Georgia’s latest ski resort Goderdzi was covered with pink snow creating the association of giant vanilla ice-cream. The strange phenomenon surprised tourists spending their holidays at Georgia’s western mountainous resort as well as locals. As the administration of the resort reported, on March 23 yellowish rain was observed instead of a traditional one that changed the color of the snow. According to the meteorologists, the phenomenon is caused by sand from Sahara desert storms mixing with snow and rain. The
sandstorm was so big it could be seen via NASA satellite imagery.

The unusual sight is believed to be the result of sand and dust stirred up and carried into the atmosphere from storms in North Africa, before being deposited in the region, The independent reports.
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Gopderdzi Resort, Adjara, Georgia. Photo courtesy: Goderdzi Resorts

The strong wind that brought sand matters to Georgia is called Sirocco. It is Mediterranean wind that comes from the Sahara and can reach hurricane speeds in North Africa and Southern Europe, especially during the summer season. It arises from a warm, dry, tropical airmass that is pulled northward by low-pressure cells moving eastward across the Mediterranean Sea, with the wind originating in the Arabian or Sahara deserts.The hotter, drier continental air mixes with the cooler, wetter air of the maritime cyclone, and the counter-clockwise circulation of the low propels the mixed air across the southern coasts of Europe.
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Gopderdzi Resort. Photo courtesy: Goderdzi Resorts

The sirocco's duration may be as short as half a day or may last several days. While passing over the Mediterranean Sea, the sirocco picks up moisture; this results in rainfall in the southern part of Italy, known locally as "blood rain" due to the red sand mixed with the falling rain. Many people attribute health problems to the sirocco, either because of the heat and dust along the African coastal regions, or because of the cool dampness in Europe.The dust within the sirocco winds can cause abrasion in mechanical devices and penetrate buildings.

Sirocco winds with speeds of up to 100 kilometres per hour (54 knots) are most common during autumn and spring. They reach a peak in March and in November when it is very hot. Despite the strange phenomenon, Goderdzi Resorted still hosted many tourists.

Apart from Georgia, same “Orange snow” was observed in different countries across the world. As BBC reports, people in Eastern Europe have been wondering at the appearance of orange-tinted snow. “Pictures of the snow have been posted on social media from Bulgaria, Ukraine, Romania, Moldova and Russia.” The article says, such type of phenomenon in nature occurs roughly once every five years but concentrations of sand are higher than usual this time. As BBC says, people have complained of sand in their mouths.

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Photo courtesy: BBC

Goderdzi is the newest ski resort of Georgia, is located in a unique climate zone in Adjara, western region of country, on the Goderdzi Pass - just 100 kilometers from the Black Sea coast at 2366 meters above sea level. Goderdzi is considered the most snowy ski resort in Georgia due to its location enabling it to work at full capacity from November till April. The eight- kilometer long ski run offers its visitors various types of tracks such as intermediate, advanced and expert.


Gopderdzi Resort.Video courtesy: Ramaz Kobuladze

The resort is distinguished from other winter resorts in Georgia by the longest ski trail. Goderdzi was opened in December 2015 and since than it has served many local and international tourists.
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Goderdzi Resort in Adjara covered with ordinary white snow .Photo: SkiGeorgia

The visitors of the resort found themselves in a kind of wonderland when skiing down the “vanilla mountains.” In comparison with holidaymakers in other countries, here the tourists did not seem to be worried and unsatisfied with this fact, on the contrary skiers enjoyed the fairy tale views created by the natural wonder. In fact every ski resort enthusiast would love to have such experience and slide on pink snow.
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Typical wooden houses in Goderdzi. Photo: SkiGeorgia

It is noteworthy that on March 23, the sky in Tbilisi was also colored in orange and pink colors, that in the beginning caused some fear among the citizens, but after the meteorologists explained the phenomenon, people simply enjoyed looking through “the pink glasses”. Ultimately, Tbilisi saw a mud rain or so called rain dust that covered all the cars standing in the streets.
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Because of the proximity to the sea Goderdzi resort is probably the most snowy resort in Georgia. Photo: Wild horn

As the sand gets lifted to the upper levels of the atmosphere, it gets distributed elsewhere.“Looking at satellite imagery from Nasa, it shows a lot of sand and dust in the atmosphere drifting across the Mediterranean. When it rains or snows, it drags down whatever is up there, if there is sand in the atmosphere,” Steven Keates, Senior Operational Meteorologist of the Met Office. According to The Guardian, on this weekend Eastern Europe transformed into "Mars".

Related stories:

Snowholics conquer Goderdzi winter resort in Georgia

A new Goderdzi resort already awaits winter and ski enthusiasts in Adjara

Goderdzi - A new winter resort with longest trail opens in Adjara, Georgia

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