The words ‘snow’ and ‘desert’ don’t often appear together in the same sentence.
But this week saw snow cover parts of the Sahara desert for just the third time in 37 years.
The 40cm deep snow was pictured covering the sand in the small Saharan desert town of Ain Sefra after a freak snowstorm on Sunday.
Can you visit the snow-capped dunes?
While the snow began melting late Sunday evening, this is the second time in as many years that snow has fallen in the world’s hottest desert.
Following this pattern, there could be further snowfall this year or more snowfall around this time next year. As with all weather patterns, we won’t know exactly when the snow will fall but during winter would be your best bet.
Ain Sefra is located in Algeria near the Moroccan border. The closest international airport is Oran and you can get flights from London to Oran for £164 with Iberia. From there you can get a train to Ain Sefra.
In the summertime, this region can reach a blistering 37 degrees celsius, but in the winter it can drop to -0.5 degrees.
What has caused the snowfall?
This part of the Sahara Desert receives wind off the Atlantic Ocean so western Africa is experiencing some of the cold front that has caused freezing temperatures in the US.
This cold air crossed the Atlantic, causing heavy snowfall in Morocco and reaching the Sahara.