Thursday, 18 January, 2018

Snow falls in Sahara desert for third time in 40 years

Sahara’s red sands covered by snow Snow in Ain Sefra Algeria. Reuters
Faye Gross | 10 January, 2018, 00:55

Residents of Ain Sefra, an Algerian town on the northwest edge of the Sahara desert, witnessed a stunning sight on Sunday: snow blanketing the sandy hills of one of Earth's most arid regions.

It's almost impossible to put a firm number on how many times snow has fallen in the Sahara, Stefan Kröpelin, a University of Cologne geologist who has been researching the desert's climate for years, told The New York Times on Tuesday.

"We were really surprised when we woke up to see snow again". In 1979, it actually snowed in Ain Sefra for 30 minutes, Gizmodo reports. "It stayed all day on Sunday and began melting at around 5 p.m.", photographer Karim Bouchetata told theExpress. Snow was also seen in the area in December 2016. Before that, it had been 37 years since Ain Sefra's last snowfall.

While snow is historically scant in the desert area, a similar snow phenomenon happened just previous year.

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Freezing conditions, however, are not uncommon in the area which lies between the desert and the Atlas mountains.

"With the setup over Europe at the moment, which has given us cold weather over the weekend, a push southwards of cold air into that region and some sort of moisture would bring that snow", a spokesperson for The Met told the Independent.

This isn't the first time that part of the desert has had snow.

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