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.
This map shows the approximate region of the photo, with images from previous years for comparison:
Snow had been last reportedly seen in Ain Sefra on February 18, 1979 during a 30-minute snow storm.