Weather Sahara gets snow for first time in 40 years

Sahara gets snow for first time in 40 years

snow in Sahara
The last significant snowfall to hit the region fell in 1979, Photo: Facebook.
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The Algerian town of Ain Sefra — known as “the gateway to the desert” — is probably not the first place that springs to mind when someone mentions snow.

But on Monday the desert town was hit by a freak snowstorm — the first in the Sahara desert in almost 40 years.

Snow could be seen not only on the tops of the surrounding Atlas Mountains, but also in the red dunes of the desert.

Snow in Sahara
The snow was the first to hit the region in around 40 years. Photo: Facebook.

The Sahara desert is one of the hottest regions of the world, with temperatures than can soar to 47 degrees Celsius.

The last significant snowfall to hit the region fell in 1979, when a 30-minute snowfall stopped traffic, and it has since seen dustings of snow in 2005 and 2012.

Although the temperature in winter can dip below the freezing point, snow is rare because the area is one of the driest on earth.

Snow in Sahara
Ain Sefra is known as “the gateway to the desert”. Photo: Facebook.

 

snow in Sahara
Snow drifts among the sand. Photo: Facebook.

Locals, including Zineddine Hashas Hashas, photographed the rare weather phenomenon.

He posted the photos of his “beautiful city” to Facebook.

The snow stayed for about a day before it melted away, local photographer Karim Bouchetata said.