The mention of the Sahara desert usually brings to mind the image of a dry, arid region with sand, sculptural sand dunes and baking heat. ‘Snow’ is not something you would usually associate with Sahara. However, a rare snowfall in the region has led to some spectacular images that have been doing the rounds on the internet. The snowfall occurred earlier this week in Ain Sefra in Algeria. The region received up to 15 inches of snow. Images captured by NASA and the European Space Agency released satellite images of the snowfall, showing the beautiful view from space. Reportedly, the hot summer temperature of 37 degree celcius suddenly fell, surprising the locals.
This is the second time that the Sahara desert has received heavy snowfall after the winter storm hit the region on January 7, 2018. Meanwhile, the Ain Sefra in Algeria has received snow cover for the third time in 37 years. The snowfall began on Sunday morning making it look like a white carpet on the sand dunes. Ain Sefra is located around 3,280 ft above sea level and is surrounded by the Atlas Mountains. The Sahara Desert covers most of Northern Africa and it has gone through temperature shifts in the past few years.
The town which is known as ‘The Gateway to the Desert’ witnessed snowfall in December 2016 making the roads slippery and people and vehicles stranded. Before that, snow was last seen in Ain Sefra on February 18, 1979, when the snowstorm lasted just half an hour. The cold weather comes as Europe and the United States are freezing in cold temperatures. The Cape Cod and the Niagra Falls is frozen due to the Winter Storm Grayson that has hit the US east coast.
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Daily Mail quoted Photographer Karim Bouchetata as saying, “We were really surprised when we woke up to see snow again. It stayed all day on Sunday and began melting at around 5 pm.” A spokesman for the Met Office said, “Cold air was pulled down south into North Africa over the weekend as a result of high pressure over Europe. The high pressure meant the cold weather extended further south than normal.”