Aïn Séfra a town in the edge of the Sahara desert received some snow fall last week, quite a rare occurrence in the Sahara.
Aïn Séfra a town in the edge of the Sahara desert received some snow fall last week, quite a rare occurrence in the Sahara. The snow covered the sand dunes- a beautiful sight to behold. The town is also known as the ‘Gateway to the desert’.
The snow is reported to have been 40 cm deep. It however melted owing to rising high temperatures. The Independent reports that, in 1979, a snowstorm lasting half an hour stopped traffic. Two years ago, snow settled for around a day, and the town saw snowfall again last year and possibly many more times.
“The Sahara is as large as the United States, and there are very few weather stations,” he added. “So it’s ridiculous to say that this is the first, second, third time it snowed, as nobody would know how many times it has snowed in the past unless they were there.”
One local resident told the publication that this is the fifth time the desert is seeing snow.
Snopes reports that about a year ago, a local Sekkouri Kamel, who lives in Aïn Séfra, posted a series of photographs to his Facebook account, some of which were subsequently shared by National Geographic.
In January 2012, the Algerian TV channel Central TV covered snowfall in the same town which it described as “an exceptional natural phenomenon in this Saharan region.” The Denver Channel 9 NBC station also reported that 24-hour cold spell had brought snow and rain to the region.
Before the 2012 occurrence it is believed that the most recent significant Saharan in this region appears to have occurred in February 1979. The storm reportedly lasted about half an hour and stalled traffic.
The Sahara is the largest hot desert and the third largest desert in the world after Antarctica and the Arctic.