Snow in the Sahara Desert?

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A thick white blanket has been laid on Desert Sahara. Snowfall in the Sahara Desert was captured by photographer Karim Bouchetata

Image Credit: Karim Bouchetata

The Sahara Desert was carpeted in pristine white snow, a unique sight that captivated the residents.
The photographs are certainly strange, yet this is not an exceptional occurrence. Know when it happened in the past and why it happened?

Displaying sand dunes in the Sahara Desert draped with new white snow, is a rare sight. Photographer Karim Bouchetata’s photographs became popular on social media.

Incident reported, Ain Sefra is renowned as “The Gateway to the Desert,” and it is located around 1,000 meters above sea level. It is bounded on all sides by the Atlas Mountains. According to media sources, the snowfall occurred in the town of Ain Sefra in northwest Algeria, when temperatures dropped to -2 degrees Celsius.

The first recent appearance of snow was happened in 2016, after decades since its last time in 1979. We could see this rare incident as well as in 2018 and this winter. Snow in Sahara or in a desert would make that much rare even it was a major breakthrough in social media. Snow is common in the Arabic peninsula in wintertime and wouldn’t be that uncommon when high elevations even near the equator.

Sahara Snowfall was visible to space in 2016. Satellite Image via USGS

Daily Mail’s claim

A Daily Mail report mentioned that the possible reason behind such rare occurrence can be the impact of high-pressure systems of cold air that have moved overland to the deserts, causing lower temperatures.

Reports further added that such anticyclones tend to reach Saudi Arabia by moving clockwise out from Central AsiaThey then pick up moisture en route which cools to form snow.  

NASA responeded

After the 2018 snowfall, NASA in a statement said that the Sahara is much more likely to see snowfall at higher altitudes, such as in the Atlas Mountains. The snowfall in 2018 was even visible from space. 

Image Gallery of Snow covered Sahara below >>>

Image Credit: Karim Bouchetata

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