Ouarzazate, nicknamed “The door of the desert”, is the site of one of the largest solar plants in the world and is the first stage of a larger project to boost renewable energy production in Morocco. All the panels were covered in snow for at least a day and the city was cut off until the roads were cleared.
Snow also fell in the town of Zagora, in southeast Morocco, well beyond the Atlas Mountains.
The National Meteorological Directorate had forecast a cold start to February with a drop of temperature, and frost or ice to follow. Throughout the mountains and plateau, snow fell at heights above 3937ft (1200m). There are ski resorts in Morocco but at closer to 9843ft (3000m) elevation.
The Ministry of Education announced on Tuesday the temporary closure of 900 rural schools. Snowstorms blocked 38 roads, according to the Ministry of Transport, as snow depths ranged from 20″ to 7ft, especially in the high and medium Atlas.
Rabat, the capital city, recorded at least 103mm of rain in the last three days, exceeding the February average by 39 percent.
The wintry weather is not over. Another 10″ of snow is possible in the southern Atlas range over the next three days.