Snow falls on the usually quite hot Sahara Desert

Pat Wise
January 13, 2018

As far as records go, snow was seen in Ain Sefra on February 18, 1979, after a snow storm hit the Saharan town for half an hour.

Sahara snowfall blanketed the usually sun-kissed sand dunes the Sahara desert, allowing Algerians the chance to try out some icy sliding.

However, the snow later melt as the temperature rose later in the day.

Yet a rare winter storm powdered the arid sand dunes of northwestern Algeria with white snow on Sunday, the third time an event like this has happened in 40 years. It is what has led to the flip in weather patterns and led to such a drastic change.

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Stretches of yellowy-red sand dunes in the Sahara Desert, which are otherwise fuming hot for most of the year, are now streaked whith white snow.

Although the temperatures can plummet very quickly at night it is rare for snowfall to occur as there is not any water to create any sort of precipitation. Before 2017, the last time snow fell on the desert was almost 40 years ago in 1979, when a snow storm occurred in the area for 30 minutes. Cars and buses became stranded on the roads, which became covered with snow instead of the usual dust. Unfortunately, the snow did not last long, as the temperatures started rising by late afternoon.

Images captured from the Copernicus Sentinel-2 satellite show the blanketing snowfall in northwest Algeria, right on the edge of the Sahara desert - which averages between 104 degrees and 117 degrees Fahrenheit in the summer.

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