Satellite image shows first Sahara Desert snow fall in 37 years

NASA photography reveals historic snow fall from space

Updated: 
Sahara snow

Spectacular satellite images captured by NASA show the first snow fall in the Sahara Desert in 37 years.

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The photos taken from above appear to show a mountainous region covered in snow but are in fact snow dunes in the vast desert.



They were captured by the Enhanced Thematic Mapper Plus on the Landsat 7 satellite on 19 December in a region near the border of Morocco and Algeria, south of the city of Bouarfa.

An amateur photographer also captured the historic scene near the Algerian town of Ain Sefra.

Karim Bouchetata said: "Everyone was stunned to see snow falling in the desert, it is such a rare occurrence. It looked amazing as the snow settled on the sand and made a great set of photos.

SAHARA SNOW

"The snow stayed for about a day and has now melted away."

Snow was last seen in Ain Sefra, known as the Gateway to the Desert, on 18 February 18 1979.

Then, the snow storm lasted just half an hour. But this time flakes stayed for about day in the town.



The Sahara covers most of northern Africa and has gone through shifts in temperature and moisture over the past few hundred thousand years.

It is one of the hottest and driest areas of the world today, although it is expected to become green again in about 15,000 years.

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