While Flanders saw its first snow of the year early Wednesday morning, local weather experts are pointing the blame at air pollution.
People in the province of Limburg and in the Antwerp Campine region woke to an unexpected layer of snow on the road. Weather experts had predicted a cold evening, but no snow.
“This is snow as a result of air pollution,” weatherman Ruben Weytjens explained on Facebook. “Normal snow forms high in the clouds, this snow forms in the fog low above the earth’s surface. Very local, where the air is most polluted and, thanks to the negative temperatures, ice crystals form around the dust particles emitted,” he added.
This “industrial snow” falls from a low altitude as fine spikes of ice, having not had time to grow to a snowflake shape.