Snow in the Sahara? Yes, That’s a Thing That Happened in 2018
Photographs of the orange. undulating slopes of the Sahara desert snugly – and unusually – blanketed by snow, are doing the rounds. Granted, not all of the Sahara is covered, but rather the Algerian town of Ain Sefra.
All media reports maintain that snow in the Sahara is not heard of very often. But while most reports opine that this is just the third time in nearly 40 years, Stefan Kröpelin, a geologist at the University of Cologne told NYT in a telephone interview that it’s not possible to confirm that figure.
“The Sahara is as large as the United States, and there are very few weather stations,” he said. “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.”
According to a report by the British online newspaper The Independent, Ain Sefra is also known as “The Gateway to the Desert.”
The smattering of snow on the desert sand makes for a delightful landscape, and there is tremendous excitement among natives of the Aïn Séfra area, with reports of children racing down the snow and even ice sliding.
Describing what brought the snow, a spokeswoman from the Met Office told The Independent:
With the setup over Europe at the moment, which has given us cold weather over the weekend, a push southwards of cold air into that region and some sort of moisture would bring that snow.
According to British magazine Express, Sahara saw snow in December 2016 as well but it was a fleeting shower, unlike the recent smattering.
This Algerian town, which was blanketed by dense snow on Sunday, 7 January, is reported to have endured temperatures as high as 37C in summer.