2016 has not been a good year when it comes to terrorism, world politics and deaths. However, when it comes to nature, the story is different. The year brought mindboggling natural phenomena, including the brightest moon in the last 68 years and now the Sahara snow fall!
On 19th December, the residents of the town of “Gateway to the Desert” or Ain Sefra woke up to thin sheets of snow covering the red hued dunes of sand. The largest hot desert in the world where the temperature rises to over 58 degrees Celsius, only about a 1,000 metres above sea level experienced snow for the first time in the past 37 years, which lasted for about half an hour. However, this is not the first time that Sahara Desert was seen under a blanket of snow. Last time it occurred was on 19th February in 1979 when it was hit by a blizzard.
According to geographical explanation, the desert is surrounded by Atlas Mountains which play some role in the “rare” snow potential in Sahara, since they get plenty of rainfall and snow in the higher region. Besides, many think of it as a response of Global Warming, causing cyclical shift in the climate of the region. However, snowfall on the hot sand-dunes, stretching for over 2,500 km is not less than a miracle.
The internet was taken by a storm as the gorgeous photographs of the Sahara snow fall circulated on social media, followed by tweets:
Nevertheless, these photographs taken by Karim Bouchetata paint the most gorgeous picture of the Sahara snow fall:
Where this miracle might not be a result of global warming, we still need to pay much closer attention to our environment by taking appropriate actions to reduce the risk of natural disasters.