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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Increases in temperature may cause localized increases in the amount of toxic mercury introduced into ecosystems, impacting wildlife and eventually the food chain.
A new surge of warm air will trigger another round of severe thunderstorms in parts of the eastern United States Wednesday and Wednesday night.
Unsettled weather will continue through midweek as showers dampen much of Germany.
Spring will get off to a slow start over much of northern Asia and in part of the Middle East, while more typical conditions are in store for most areas farther to the south and east.
After record warmth baked the eastern U.S. during the last full week of February, winter will seek its revenge during the first week of March.
Prior to midweek, severe thunderstorms with isolated tornadoes, damaging winds, downpours and hail will threaten areas from Indiana to Texas.
Millions travel to Washington, D.C., each year to catch a glimpse of the magnificent pink blossoms.