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Published: Wed, January 10, 2018
Global Media | By Abel Hampton

Snow falls in Sahara desert for third time in 40 years

Snow falls in Sahara desert for third time in 40 years

It's almost impossible to put a firm number on how many times snow has fallen in the Sahara, Stefan Kröpelin, a University of Cologne geologist who has been researching the desert's climate for years, told The New York Times on Tuesday.

Travelers and locals in Ain Sefra, Algeria, were treated to an unlikely sight on Sunday, when their corner of the Sahara desert was covered in a blanket of fresh white snow. But photographers at the scene said the snow actually stayed intact for a good portion of the day.

"We were really surprised when we woke up to see snow again".

However even in its deepest parts, the less than one inch of snow quickly dissipated. For an area to be classified as a desert, it has to receive less than 10 inches of precipitation per year.

Snow started falling on the Algerian town of Ain Sefra in the early hours of Sunday morning, giving children an opportunity to race each other down the slopes. "It seems like the snowy pictures were taken across the higher areas in the north of the region, towards the Atlas regions, so it's not surprising that the area would see some snow if the conditions were right". In December 2016, snow was reported in the town for the first time since 1979. The precipitation was a result of high air pressure over Europe pulling cold air into northern Africa.

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