Skip to main content

Snow covers northern Algeria's desert for the second winter in a row

Snow covers northern Algeria's desert for the second winter in a row

Snow has covered northern Algeria's desert around the city of Ain Sefra for the second winter in a row on January 7, 2018. The last time this region saw snow before December 2016 was in 2013. 
The snowfall in northern Algeria was caused by the same weather system that affected the western Mediterranean over the past couple of days, as is usually the case.
Ain Sefra (Aïn Séfra) is a town and municipality in western Algeria. The region it is located in is known as "The Gateway to the Desert." It is situated in the Saharan Atlas Mountains, 45 km (28 miles) east of the border with Morocco. The town lies in a broad valley between Mount Aïssa and Mount Mekter. 
Suomi NPP image acquired January 7, 2018
NASA/NOAA Suomi NPP/VIIRS image acquired January 7, 2018
Snow in this region is rare, but not unprecedented. However, what is unusual is that this is the second winter in a row that Ain Sefra saw measurable snow.
Images below were taken on December 19, 2016:
Snow in Ain Sefra, Algeria on December 19, 2016
Snow in Aïn Séfra, Algeria on December 19, 2016. Photo by Karim Bouchetata
Snow in Ain Sefra, Algeria on December 19, 2016
Snow in Aïn Séfra, Algeria on December 19, 2016. Photo by Karim Bouchetata
One date circulating in media this week, the same as in December 2016 when the last snow was reported in the region, is February 18, 1979. On that day, snow was indeed reported in Algeria, but to the surprise of many, it happened in the country's south, far away from Ain Sefra.
As reported by Live Science, on February 18, 1979, low altitude areas of the Sahara desert recorded their first snowfall in living memory. Snow fell in spots in southern Algeria, where a half-hour snowstorm stopped traffic. Several Saharan mountain ranges, however, receive snow on a more regular basis.
In winter, temperatures drop low enough on the Tahat summit, the highest mountain peak in Algeria, to cause snow about every three years. The Tibesti Mountains, in northern Chad, receive snow on peaks over 2.5 km (8 202 feet) once every seven years on average. 
Featured image: Snow in Ain Sefra, northern Algeria on January 7, 2018. Credit: Karim Bouchetata

MOST VIEWED ARTICLES

The Arctic Sky Has Turned Red!

BIZARRE RECTANGLE ICEBERG SPOTTED BY NASA NEAR TO LARSEN ICE SHELF

China Plans to Launch an 'Artificial Moon' to Light Up the Night Skies

Magnitude 6.8 Earthquake Strikes Cascadia Subduction Zone 10/22/18

"Willa" Rapidly Intensifies Into a Hurricane and Will Threaten Mexico By Midweek

Metal object that fell from sky in Hanford identified

UPDATE on China's Artificial Moon, Orbits and Lighting Level Diagrams Released

Yellowstone Geyser’s Eruption tosses up decades of human trash, some ‘historic’

Watch: NASA releases 450,000 gallons of water in one minute

Very bright meteor illuminates night sky over Hokkaido, Japan