Snow falls in Sahara Desert for the first time in four decades

23 Dec, 2016 9:20 am

ALGIERS (92 News) – For the first time in 37 years and the second time in living memory, snow has fallen in the Sahara desert, which has been known for its brutal and suffocating heat.

One of several towns to claim the moniker “Gateway to the Desert,” Ain Sefra is 1,078 meters above sea level and is surrounded by the Atlas Mountains.

The last time the Saharan town saw snow was in 1979, when a half-hour snow storm reportedly stopped traffic.

Founded in 1881 as a garrison town for the French, Ain Sefra is located in northwest Algeria and is known as “The Gateway to the Desert” with a population of nearly 35,000.

With an altitude of more than 1,078 meters, the town has a blistering hot summer climate, while in winter it can be very chilly.


The temperature in the area was roughly 10 to 15 degrees colder than normal when the snow occurred.

The Sahara is the world’s largest hot desert and its more than 9 million square kilometers cover most of North Africa.




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