Does the desert ever experience snow? It seems strange, yet it actually exists. The Sahara Desert, the world’s biggest desert, had snowfall as part of the celebrations taking place all across the world.
Deserts must REALLY be losing snow if they are missing rain. At least till now. Although Antarctica and the Arctic are also technically deserts, the Sahara Desert receives little precipitation. It is the biggest hot desert in the planet. It spans more than 3 million square kilometers of northern Africa and is hot, arid, and enormous. (All images via AP Images; taken by Karim Bouchetata/Rex Features.)
The Sahara barely receives between half an inch and four inches of rain annually (that’s not much!).
However, snow in a desert? That’s unprecedented, right? Just by chance, a snowstorm in the Sahara Desert was captured by an amateur photographer. To the surprise of its citizens, snow fell in the Algerian village of Ain Sefra. With reality, this area of the Sahara has been covered in white powder before. Back in 1979, the region had snowfall. In 2005 and 2012, there were other reports of small dustings in other parts of the Sahara.
Except for these strange incidents, the region has never before had a significant snowfall.
Powder in the lower areas is quite uncommon (although some high-altitude Sahara mountain ranges have been reported to get snow).
The snow lingered for nearly a day before melting away, according to the photographer, Karim Bouchetata, who posted about it on Facebook.
This leaves some of the sole remaining documentation of an event that might not happen again for a decade or more in these stunning images. if at all.
The coincidence of snow in the desert is lovely. a unique occasion when a variety of meteorological conditions coincide perfectly. It isn’t, however, any type of evidence that we shouldn’t be concerned about global warming, just in case you had that notion. According to Steven Stoll, a professor who teaches climate history at Fordham University, “A chilly day in the Sahara does not contradict global warming any more than a hot wave in December demonstrates it.” There are no isolated events.
According to Stoll, it’s becoming hotter everywhere, and occasionally the movement and distribution of that heat might result in localized cooling. In the Sahara, it may be the case. But even if this about once-every-ten-year phenomenon is ultimately pointless and arbitrary, it definitely is lovely. And we’re fortunate that a photographer was present to record the fascinating outcomes.