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What Caused A Brown Snow?
Question: I heard a report that a "brown snow" fell on Colorado this month (February 2006). What caused it?
Colored snows are not uncommon in Colorado and other areas of the US Southwest. In general, colored snows are caused by dust of various colors being incorporated in the snow clouds, at times this is the mix of a duststorm and snowstorm.
In this particular case, dry conditions in northern Arizona and a windstorm raised the dust and that dust mixed into a storm system that dropped snow over much of Colorado on February 9, 2006. Local residents described the resulting snow as a "chocolate brown."
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