On Sunday, snow fell in one of the most unlikely places on Earth. Ain Sefra, an Algerian town in the Sahara Desert, got a couple inches of the white stuff. It clung to the dunes for an hour and a half before melting. pic.twitter.com/nJMB0J0RvH
— Shahid Mahmood (@ImagesOfHistory) January 9, 2018
Ain Sefra, a desert town in Algeria known as the 'Gateway to the Sahara', experienced a substantial amount of snow for reportedly third time in 40 years. And the pictures are breathtaking, to say the least!
Rare snowfall covers dunes of the Sahara Desert in Morocco. Images from January 5th and 8th. pic.twitter.com/2N23TVRz22
— Planet (@planetlabs) January 9, 2018
According to some reports, parts of the area received nearly 15 inches of snow. As the Sahara is renowned for its extreme temperatures, it's not unusual for the temperature to plunge tens of degrees Fahrenheit at night.
What’s happening to our weather patterns? A snowstorm in the Sahara desert ? Unbelievable! pic.twitter.com/VJlh9tyd1d
— Harsh Goenka (@hvgoenka) January 10, 2018
But, the snow actually stayed intact for a good portion of the day. While snow is historically scant in the desert area, a similar snow phenomenon happened just last year. Before that, it had been 37 years since Ain Sefra's last snowfall.
Rare #snow covers the #Sahara #Desert in #Algeria – Second year in a row after 40 years of absence https://t.co/5v81PrFb0s via @Strange_Sounds pic.twitter.com/1arXOMEAKb
— Strange Sounds (@Strange_Sounds) January 7, 2018
It snowed for the first time in 40 years in the Sahara. So beautiful, snow and sand. pic.twitter.com/2t3Ja3b3qI
— michael zylstra (@Zeddie101) January 9, 2018
Experts believe this snowfall was a result of high pressure in Europe pulling in cold air southwards into north Africa.