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Sahara Desert: Snow Falls Atop Sand for First Time in 37 Years

Image: Sahara Desert: Snow Falls Atop Sand for First Time in 37 Years

Snow fell on the red sand dunes in the Sahara Desert on Dec. 19, 2016, the first time in 37 years. (Rex Features via AP Images)

By    |   Thursday, 22 Dec 2016 05:37 AM

For the first time in 37 years, snow fell in the Sahara Desert earlier this week.

The snowstorm occurred in the Algerian town of Ain Sefra, which is 1,078 meters above sea level near the Atlas Mountains, according to CNN. Ain Sefra is considered to be one of several “Gateways to the Desert.”

The town, with a population of about 35,000, has hot summers where highs can reach up to 100 degrees, but winters see cooler weather, with highs in the upper 30s to 50 degrees. The temperatures were about 10 to 15 degrees colder than normal when the snow fell, The Washington Post reported.

The last time it snowed in the Sahara Desert was 1979.

The desert is more than 9,000 square miles in size and covers most of North Africa. Temperatures can reach up to 120 degrees.

Amateur photographer Karim Bouchetata captured images of the red desert covered with a thin layer of white.

“Everyone was stunned to see snow falling in the desert, it is such a rare occurrence,” she told The Independent. “It looked amazing as the snow settled on the sand.”

The Sahara snow lasted about a day before melting, Bouchetata said.

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For the first time in 37 years, snow fell in the Sahara Desert earlier this week.
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Thursday, 22 Dec 2016 05:37 AM
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