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.
While waters will be slow to recede across flood-ravaged South Carolina, a stretch of dry weather will provide favorable conditions for cleanup efforts across the region.
Joaquin remains on track to make Europe its final destination with a part of the British Isles and western Europe first facing potential impacts this weekend.
Despite Tropical Storm Oho not making landfall across Hawaii, localized downpours and rough surf will rattle the islands into late week.
A storm system producing localized flash flooding and gusty thunderstorms will progress eastward across the Southwest states through the middle of the week.
In lieu of direct impact from Hurricane Joaquin, what led to historic rainfall in the Carolinas this past weekend?
Some U.S. cities are at a higher risk than others to experience the impacts of a hurricane in any given year.
Punta Rassa, FL (near Ft. Myers) (1873)
Hurricane destroyed town; 14-foot tide.
Ucluelet Brynnor Mines, Canada (1967)
Highest daily total of rainfall ever for Canada -- 19.61 inches in 24 hours.
Rotterdam, Netherlands (1981)
An F-28 airliner crashed, killing all aboard after apparently traversing a tornado shortly after take-off.