Mysterious Green Cloud Hanging Over Moscow Likely Weather-Related

April 30, 2012; 5:45 AM ET
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"What's going on?" Instagram user little_ke tweeted.

Photos, video and rumors flew Friday on Twitter and Facebook about what looked like a green ash cloud hanging above the city of Moscow, Russia. Friday is the anniversary of the 1986 Chernobyl nuclear disaster in the Ukraine, which had people on edge.

According to Interfax, officials say that the ash cloud is actually a cloud of pollen from birch trees.

"It's reasonable to believe it was a cloud of pollen, given the time of year and the atmospheric conditions," AccuWeather senior meteorologist Dale Mohler said.

According to Mohler, it has been dry and warm for the past week in Moscow. With dry weather, pollen accumulates on leaves. With a sudden gust of wind, pollen can shake loose.

"It's something that's fairly common in the spring. It's nothing scary, threatening or unusual," Mohler said.


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