In pictures: Snow falls in Algeria’s Sahara Desert

Snow has fallen in the Sahara Desert in north-western Algeria as temperatures plummeted to below freezing.

Picture dated January 6th shows a covering of snow in the Sahara Desert near Mekalis in northwestern Algeria.IMAGE SOURCE,SHUTTERSTOCK

For children from nearby towns such as Mekalis, it was a welcome relief from the scorching heat of the world’s largest hot desert.

Picture dated January 8th shows a covering of snow and ice in the Sahara Desert near Ain Sefra in northwestern Algeria.IMAGE SOURCE,SHUTTERSTOCK

The ice crystals formed stunning patterns in the desert sands.

Picture dated January 8th shows a covering of snow and ice in the Sahara Desert near Ain Sefra in northwestern Algeria.IMAGE SOURCE,SHUTTERSTOCK

Dunes – ideal for sliding – were also partially covered by the snow and ice.

Picture dated January 8th shows a covering of snow and ice in the Sahara Desert near Ain Sefra in northwestern Algeria.IMAGE SOURCE,SHUTTERSTOCK

The snow in the town of Ain Sefra – known as the gateway to the Sahara Desert – was only a light dusting.

Picture dated January 8th shows a covering of snow and ice in the Sahara Desert near Ain Sefra in northwestern Algeria.IMAGE SOURCE,SHUTTERSTOCK

Temperatures in the town, which is surrounded by the Atlas mountains, dropped below -2 for the last three nights but this is only a few degrees colder than average at this time of year, says BBC Weather’s Nicky Berry.

Picture dated January 6th shows a covering of snow in the Sahara Desert near Mekalis in northwestern Algeria.IMAGE SOURCE,SHUTTERSTOCK

The snow was not a complete surprise – there were also falls in 2021, 2018 and 2017.

Snow in the Sahara desert near the town of Ain Sefra, Algeria Snow in the Sahara Desert, Ain Sefra, Algeria - 20 Dec 2016IMAGE SOURCE,SHUTTERSTOCK

But the snow on the red sand dunes in December 2016 did come as a shock. Residents of Ain Sefra said that it was the first time since 1979 they had seen snow, suggesting the phenomenon is now becoming more common.

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