Red Snow on Monte Sirente, Italy

April 27, 2018

RedSnow_Stefano_EO3A1788 copiaApril 2018 Viewer's Choice

Photographer: Stefano Scivola 
Summary Authors: Stefano Scivola; Jim Foster

Red snow! This red-tinted snow was observed near the summit of Monte Sirente (7,700 ft or 2,347 m), Italy on February 4, 2018. Strong Sirocco winds from the south likely picked up reddish colored (iron oxide) sand from the Sahara Desert in Libya, depositing it on the high elevation snowpack of the Central Apennine Mountains, the highest peaks encountered between the Sahara Desert (east of the Atlas Mountains) and the Alps. Note that red-colored snow (watermelon snow) can also be caused by the presence of a carotenoid pigment in algae.

Photo Details: Camera: Canon EOS 7D Mark II; Software: Adobe Photoshop CC (Macintosh); Exposure Time: 0.0016s (1/640); Aperture: ƒ/9.0; Focal Length: 400.0mm.