First Sahara Desert Snow In 37 Years | Photo Tour

Matias Ricci |
First Sahara Desert Snow In 37 Years // photo: Karim Bouchetata
First Sahara Desert Snow In 37 Years // photo: Karim Bouchetata
The Sahara Desert is the world’s largest hot desert and its more than 9 million square kilometers cover most of North Africa. As well as being one of the driest places in the planet, it’s one of the hottest — temperatures here can reach more than 122ºF.
Satellite Image of the Sahara Desert. // photo: Wikipedia
Satellite Image of the Sahara Desert. // photo: Wikipedia

Snow covered the small town of Ain Sefra in Algeria on December 19th and was thankfully captured by photographer Karim Bouchetata. Ain Sefra is situated where the Atlas Mountains meet the Sahara Desert, which gives the small town the nickname “The Gateway to the Desert” by locals.

“Everyone was stunned to see snow falling in the desert; it is such a rare occurrence,” Mr Bouchetata explained. “It looked amazing as the snow settled on the sand and made a great set of photos. The snow stayed for about a day and has now melted away.”

NASA’s Landsat 7 satellite was there to see it. The photo comes from Landsat 7’s Enhanced Thematic Mapper Plus visible-light camera, and depicts the first snowfall recorded in the massive African desert in 37 years.

The Landsat 7 satellite acquired this image of snow in North Africa on December 19, 2016. The scene shows an area near the border of Morocco and Algeria, south of the city of Bouarfa and southwest of Ain Sefra. // photo: NASA Earth Observatory.
The Landsat 7 satellite acquired this image of snow in North Africa on December 19, 2016. The scene shows an area near the border of Morocco and Algeria, south of the city of Bouarfa and southwest of Ain Sefra. // photo: NASA Earth Observatory.

This map shows the approximate region of the photo, with images from previous years for comparison:

December observations in the Sahara for the last four years. // photo: NASA
December observations in the Sahara for the last four years. // photo: NASA

Snow had been last reportedly seen in Ain Sefra on February 18, 1979 during a 30-minute snow storm.

PHOTO TOUR

First Sahara Desert Snow In 37 Years // photo: Karim Bouchetata
First Sahara Desert Snow In 37 Years // photo: Karim Bouchetata
First Sahara Desert Snow In 37 Years // photo: Karim Bouchetata
First Sahara Desert Snow In 37 Years // photo: Karim Bouchetata
First Sahara Desert Snow In 37 Years // photo: Karim Bouchetata
First Sahara Desert Snow In 37 Years // photo: Karim Bouchetata
First Sahara Desert Snow In 37 Years // photo: Karim Bouchetata
First Sahara Desert Snow In 37 Years // photo: Karim Bouchetata
First Sahara Desert Snow In 37 Years // photo: Karim Bouchetata
First Sahara Desert Snow In 37 Years // photo: Karim Bouchetata
First Sahara Desert Snow In 37 Years // photo: Karim Bouchetata
First Sahara Desert Snow In 37 Years // photo: Karim Bouchetata
First Sahara Desert Snow In 37 Years // photo: Karim Bouchetata
First Sahara Desert Snow In 37 Years // photo: Karim Bouchetata
First Sahara Desert Snow In 37 Years // photo: Karim Bouchetata
First Sahara Desert Snow In 37 Years // photo: Karim Bouchetata
First Sahara Desert Snow In 37 Years // photo: Karim Bouchetata
First Sahara Desert Snow In 37 Years // photo: Karim Bouchetata
First Sahara Desert Snow In 37 Years // photo: Karim Bouchetata
First Sahara Desert Snow In 37 Years // photo: Karim Bouchetata
First Sahara Desert Snow In 37 Years // photo: Karim Bouchetata
First Sahara Desert Snow In 37 Years // photo: Karim Bouchetata
First Sahara Desert Snow In 37 Years // photo: Karim Bouchetata
First Sahara Desert Snow In 37 Years // photo: Karim Bouchetata
First Sahara Desert Snow In 37 Years // photo: Karim Bouchetata
First Sahara Desert Snow In 37 Years // photo: Karim Bouchetata
First Sahara Desert Snow In 37 Years // photo: Karim Bouchetata
First Sahara Desert Snow In 37 Years // photo: Karim Bouchetata
First Sahara Desert Snow In 37 Years // photo: Karim Bouchetata
First Sahara Desert Snow In 37 Years // photo: Karim Bouchetata
First Sahara Desert Snow In 37 Years // photo: Karim Bouchetata
First Sahara Desert Snow In 37 Years // photo: Karim Bouchetata
First Sahara Desert Snow In 37 Years // photo: Karim Bouchetata
First Sahara Desert Snow In 37 Years // photo: Karim Bouchetata

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