Snow in Sahara for the third time in 40 years

Let it snow Up to 16 inches of snow fell on the town of Ain Sefra in Algeria on Sunday

Let it snow Up to 16 inches of snow fell on the town of Ain Sefra in Algeria on Sunday

The town also saw snowfall in December 2016 and January 2017, when the desert received the most snow in living memory.

The stark contrast of the white snow and orange sand was captured on camera by Karim Bouchetata from the town of Ain Sefra in western Algeria.

On top of the sand dunes, a thin layer of snow can be seen.

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The unexpected flurry marked the third time in 40 years that the town of Ain Sefra in Algeria has experienced snowfall, the second most recent being just last year.

The world's largest hot desert can usually only dream of a white winter; snow has only fallen in the region several times in almost 40 years.

In 1979, a snowstorm lasting half an hour stopped traffic.

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Winter Storm Grayson, battering the United States east coast, has seen the sea freeze in Cape Cod, along with the Niagra Falls in stunning scenes.

High pressure bands over Europe caused cold air to be pulled down into northern Africa and into the Sahara. "The high pressure meant the cold weather extended further south than normal", a Met Office rep explained. Ain Sefra, which sits about 3,280ft above sea level, has never been a snow magnet.

Its average temperature for January is 6C, with average lows at -0.3C.

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Although the Sahara is very dry today, it is expected to become green again in about 15,000 years.

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