A strange ashy rain that looked like a milky substance fell throughout parts of Oregon and Washington State last Friday during the afternoon. While it’s not likely a threat at this point, weather officials are still scrambling to identify what exactly caused the ashy rain to happen in the first place. Not only that, but they’re trying to determine where it came from. It was posted to Facebook originally, and that was when more users began noting the strange ashy rain that kept being reported in a number of locations through the area.

Milky Rain in Washington and Oregon

Right now though, the assumption throughout the science community is that the volcanic ash that was undoubtedly mixed in with the rain to create the ashy rain that appeared – was from Volcano Shiveluch which is located in Kamchatka Krai, Russia. While a lot of scientists agree that it’s likely volcanic ash that caused the strange ashy rain – it’s unclear when scientists will actually have an official answer on just what it was. It’s being evaluated by scientists but hasn’t formally been investigated yet.

The National Weather Service in Spokane said “While many have speculated on the origins of the residue, the truth is that we really don’t know where it came from.” Even as creative theories regarding the origin of the strange ashy rain pass around the Internet, and the local communities – ash seems to be at the center of each of the stories or theories. It’s very likely that the ash was swept up over the Pacific Ocean and run across into the United States mainland. Where it precisely came from can be debated, but knowing that the substance is ash, rather than being something that scientists can’t identify is definitely a good thing.

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One meteorologist though from CNN noted that it wouldn’t be wise to assume that the ash is from a volcano until the testing comes back, which will identify the chemical makeup of the ash. That mixing in with the rain water ultimately created a strange sight and a strange scenario for those individuals who experienced that ashy rain, on an otherwise ordinary Friday afternoon.