Here a sight you don’t see every day, check out a SNOWASIS. Snow is falling in the arid desert of the Sahara for the THIRD time in 40 years.
The polar wave that has affected a large part of the US in recent days and Spain has made its way to North Africa, where the Sahara desert changed its usual reddish and brown tone, giving way to a massive, white snow cover that took many people by surprise.
The amazing scenery was recorded in the town of Aïn Séfra, known as ‘the desert gate’, in northwestern Algeria. In this district, located at 1,080 meters above sea level, and surrounded by the Atlas Mountains, the snow reached a thickness of around 40 centimeters, newspaper Express reported.
“We were really surprised when we woke up and saw snow,” said photographer Karim Bouchetata.
This snowfall, which could remain until Tuesday is the third recorded in the north of the Sahara since February 18, 1979.
In December of 2016, another snowfall covered the dry sand of the Sahara, turning the desert into an endless landscape of snow and ice.
Meteorologists estimate that in the next few hours, more areas located nearby can be affected by cold weather and snowfall which may reach up to 15 centimeters in some places.
The Sahara desert is the largest warm desert in the world and the third largest after Antarctica and the Arctic. With more than 9,065,000 km2 of surface area, the Sahara covers most of North Africa occupying an area almost as large as that of China or the United States.
The Sahara extends from the Red Sea, including parts of the coast of the Mediterranean Sea, all the way to the Atlantic Ocean.
To the south, it is bounded by the Sahel, a belt of semi-arid tropical savannah that form the regions that cover the north of sub-Saharan Africa.
In terms of meteorology, the climate of the Sahara has undergone enormous variations over time, ranging from wet to dry for the last hundreds of thousands of years.
This variability is due to a cycle of 41,000 years in which the axis of the earth changes between 22 ° and 24.5 °.
Currently, we are in a dry period, but the Sahara is expected to return towards being a green landscape in about 15,000 years.
Featured image credit: Issam Bouchetata