Snow stuns as more than a foot falls in Sahara Desert

Sahara Desert Snow Winter Algeria NASA

The stark contrast of the white snow and orange sand was captured on camera by Karim Bouchetata from the town of Ain Sefra in western Algeria.

The last time snow fell on Ain Sefra, home to roughly 35,000 people, was in 2016.

The Sahara Desert covers most of Northern Africa and it has gone through shifts in temperature and moisture over the past few hundred thousand years. This unique culmination of weather patterns resulted in an unexpected snowfall. Since winds travel from west to east, the chilly air over the U.S.

Past year the town, known as "The Gateway to the Desert" saw deep snow shortly after Christmas and it caused chaos, with passengers stranded on buses after the roads became slippery and icy. Last year, the town of Ain Sefra also experienced the same phenomenon.

Ain Sefra Village Algeria Sahara Desert Snow Winter NASA
Joshua Stevens NASA Earth Observatory

Although the temperatures can plummet very quickly at night it is rare for snowfall to occur as there is not any water to create any sort of precipitation.

The Sahara desert, which is the largest hot desert in the world, has been photographed with a fall of snow for the second time in three years.

The town, which is surrounded by hot desert and not used to managing snow, experienced some difficulties with icy roads.

However, the snow later melt as the temperature rose later in the day. It is just extremely rare with this being the third snowfall on record in the Sahara. While many USA states record their coldest temperatures ever in the bitter winter chill that grips the eastern United States, Australia, on the other hand is experiencing its hottest temperatures in almost 80 years at 116.6 degrees Fahrenheit.

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