Snow and Ice Descend on Sahara Desert in Rare Weather Occurrence
In the last 40 years, snow has fallen just five times in the Sahara.
After temperatures plummeted below zero in Ain Sefra, Algeria, snow and ice were found on the sand dunes of the Atlas Mountains, known as the “gateway to the desert,” MSN reported.
The area is 1,000 meters above sea level and lies in the Naama province of Algeria in the northern part of the Sahara, close to the Moroccan border.
Despite temperatures fluctuating in the Sahara, snow and ice are still rare, MSN reported. The only other recorded incidences of snow in Ain Sefra were 1979, 2017, 2018 and 2021, according to MSN.
Aside from being an odd occurrence, the snow in the area was welcomed following scorching heat, according to the BBC.
Revelers took photos of themselves playing the snow and enjoying the rare situation, BBC reported.
After previous snowfalls in the area, Roman Vilfand, head of Russia’s Federal Service for Hydrometeorology and Environmental Monitoring, told the Russian state-controlled news agency TASS that the climate change could play a role in odd weather in the Sahara, The Independent reported.
“Such situations, including snowfalls in Sahara, a long cold spell in North America, very warm weather in the European part of Russia and sustained rains which sparked flooding in Western European countries, have been occurring more frequently,” he said. “The high recurrence of these extreme [weather] conditions stems from global warming. It is not just my standpoint, but an opinion shared by members of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.”
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