Sahara Snowfall: Winter Storm Touches Algeria

Sahara Desert Snow Winter Algeria NASA

Sahara Desert Snow Winter Algeria NASA

The last two recorded instances took place in December 2016 and 1979.

In an unusual weather occurrence, the Sahara Desert, a region known as one of the hottest parts of the globe experienced a rare sprinkling of snow over the weekend.

Residents of Ain Sefra, a small town in Algeria, woke up to snow blanketing Sahara Desert earlier this week, for the third time in 40 years.

Ain Sefra Village Algeria Sahara Desert Snow Winter NASA
Joshua Stevens NASA Earth Observatory

The freak weather occurrence was associated with the atmospheric pattern that brought a awful winter storm across the Atlantic seaboard of the United States. This year, cold winds from Europe-the ones that led to heavy snowfall over the Alps-were coupled with precipitation from a surface storm in the area. While snow is historically scant in the desert area, a similar snow phenomenon happened just past year. However, the occurrence is still very rare. According to some reports, parts of the area received almost 15 inches of snow.

Children from Ain Sefra enjoyed the winter wonderland in which they found themselves, building snowmen and sliding down the ice-covered dunes in sleds.

When this flip happens, places that are usually too warm for snow might get an unexpected flurry of the white stuff.The place like Sahara desert - where the high atmospheric temperatures average about 100 degrees in the summer and lows hover right around freezing in the winter.

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