Nope, that’s not simply actually white sand.
Residents of Ain Sefra, an Algerian city on the northwest fringe of the Sahara desert, witnessed a surprising sight on Sunday: snow blanketing the sandy hills of certainly one of Earth’s most arid areas.
Nearly 16 inches of snow fell in Ain Sefra however melted rapidly, Algerian retailers reported, marking the fourth time in 37 years that snowfall has been measured within the Sahara. The precipitation was a results of excessive air stress over Europe pulling chilly air into northern Africa.
Snow isn’t significantly widespread in Ain Sefra. In December 2016, snow was reported within the city for the primary time since 1979.
“It is so uncommon that it’s a complete yr because it final occurred,” joked Michael Mann, a distinguished professor of atmospheric science and the director of the Earth System Science Center at Penn State University.
The U.S. Geological Survey famous on the time that snow shouldn’t be unusual at Africa’s larger elevations, however mentioned it “seldom falls” on the fringe of the desert.
“Though [Ain Sefra’s] winter temperatures are recognized to drop into the 30s, snow is as uncommon because the cool temperatures provided that only a few centimeters of precipitation fall there yearly,” the company mentioned.
It’s practically not possible to place a agency quantity on what number of instances snow has fallen within the Sahara, Stefan Kröpelin, a University of Cologne geologist who has been researching the desert’s local weather for years, instructed The New York Times on Tuesday.
“The Sahara is as massive because the United States, and there are very few weather stations,” he mentioned. “So it’s ridiculous to say that that is the primary, second, third time it snowed, as no one would know what number of instances it has snowed prior to now except they had been there.”
Take a have a look at a number of the beautiful photographs captured by native photographer Karim Bouchetata: