Snow Has Fallen in the Sahara Desert

Residents of northwestern Algeria were recently pleasantly surprised to see snow laying atop the Sahara desert sand when they awoke.

In a region that usually features hot weather, snow is very uncommon. This is the third time in 37 years that the area has received snow. The last snowfall on the Sahara was in 2016, and before that, in 1979, in the town of Ain Sefra.

In summertime, the region can experience temperatures exceeding 37 degrees Celsius, however, when it cools down, the low can reach -0.5 degrees.

The snowfall may have been caused by the recent cold weather in the eastern United States, which could have crossed the Atlantic, passed Morocco, and resulted in the desert being covered in a white blanket.

The snow reached depths of up to 16 inches, and began to melt after a few hours, as temperatures rose in the area.

Last week, a powerful blizzard, Winter Storm Grayson, passed through the East Coast of the U.S., dumping snow in locations that rarely receive wintry precipitation, such as Florida and Georgia, and produced snowfall accumulations of over 60cm in Mid-Atlantic region, which includes New York, Virginia, and Washington D.C. The storm, which started on January 2nd, and dissipated on January 6th, resulted in the cancellation of hundreds of flights, and the loss of power to 300,000 people.

Watch a video of the snow from someone in the area at the time here:

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Sources: [1], [2], [3], [4]. Image source: [1].