While eye is present in Africa at very high elevations, eye in the Sahara Desert is a really rare event.

The Sahara Desert is an extremely hot and also arid region. One area about3,600,000square mile (9,200,000 square kilometers), the desert is around the dimension of the unified States and also stretches throughout much of phibìc Africa.

Winter is the season when any kind of rainfall might fall in this area. The air above the desert is for this reason dry, that regularly rain doesn’t with the soil or come in very little quantities (Galvin, 2010). Places at higher elevations receive an ext rain (Galvin, 2010).

You are watching: Can it snow in the desert

Significant Snowfall in the Sahara Desert

There have actually been three taped episodes of significant snowfall. The first was recorded in 1979, the 2nd in December that 2016, and the 3rd most newly on January 7, 2018.

The northern Algerian town ofAin Sefra is recognized as the “Gateway to the Desert”, located betweenthe Atlas Mountains and also the north edge the the Sahara. About 35,000 human being live in this town.

On January 8, 2018, around 10 to 30 centimeters (4 come 12 inches) the snow covered the desert higher elevations above 1000 meters. The snow lasted for much less than a day thanks to warming temperatures.


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Landsat 8 satellite image of snow spanned moutaintops near Aïn Séfra in northern Algeria. Image: NASA, windy domain.

The 2016 snowfall was captured byLandsat 7 satellite ~ above December 19, 2016.


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Satellite image showing snow between the border of Morocco and also Algeria near the city of Ain Sefra recorded by Landsat 7. Image: NASA, December 19, 2016.

Unfortunately, in all situations of far-ranging snowfall, the snow conveniently melted and also dissipated ~ a few hours, return the desert to its sandy landscape.

2018 Sahara Desert eye Video

The current January 7 2018 snowfall was captured by local photographerKarim Bouchetata (who also captured imagery of the snowfall in 2016):


References

Carlowicz,M. (2016, December 22).Rare snow in the african desert. NASA planet Observatory.https://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/images/89302/rare-snow-in-the-african-desert

Carlowicz,M. (2018, January 13).

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A dusting of white in the Sahara. NASA earth Observatory.https://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/images/91556/a-dusting-of-white-in-the-sahara

Galvin, J. F. P. (2010). When does it eye in the desert?.Weather,65(1), 10-13. Https://doi.org/10.1002/wea.48

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