Snowfall In Sahara Desert

 

Context:

  • Snowfall in Sahara Desert was a rare event.
  • Snow settled on the sand and ice covered the sand dunes, after temperatures dropped below freezing point.
  • Temperatures as high as 58 degrees Celsius, have been recorded there.

 

Snowfall

  • The town of Ain-Sefra is located in Naama province of north-western Algeria.
  • It is known as “The Gateway to the Sahara”.
  • It is surrounded by Atlas Mountains and is located at around 3,000 feet above sea level.
  • Sand dunes in this area can be as high as 180 metres. It also witnesses water scarcity.
  • Recently, temperatures reached to -2 degrees Celsius in the town, resulting into snowfall.

 

 

Previous instances of snowfall

 

  • This is not the first time it snowed in the Sahara Desert.
  • In last 42 years, snowfall occurred for the fifth time. Earlier, the region witnessed snowfall 1979, 2016, 2018, and 2021. 
  • Each year, the amount of snowfall was different.
  • In 1979, there was a snowstorm. On the other hand, in 2018, it received 40 cm of snowfall.

 

Reasons of snowfall in Sahara Desert

 

  • In the month of January, temperatures are much milder in Ain-Sefra region. Temperatures can be around 14 degrees Celsius.
  • Climate crisis and Arctic warming could be responsible for this rare event.

 

The Sahara Desert

 

  • The Sahara Desert is located in African continent.
  • It covers an area of 9,200,000 square kilometers. It is the largest hot desert of the world and third largest desert overall, after deserts of Antarctica and northern Arctic.
  • It comprises much of North Africa, excluding fertile region on the Mediterranean Sea coast, Nile Valley and Atlas Mountains of the Maghreb.

Source: THE HINDU.

 

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