Snow on the Sahara

Few days ago one of the most incredible, rare and unique meteorological event that could ever happen is actually occurred in the Sahara desert: snowing. The last occurrence of this phenomenon was observed tenths of years ago and this is the third time in 40 years. Copernicus Sentinel-2 mission captured the snowed desert surface in the early morning of January 8th, in the northern African country of Algeria , as showed in the spectacular sight offered by the image below. A custom colour stretch has been used in the image processing in order to highlight the white colour of the snow with reference to the yellow desert, for this reason appearing darker than usual.

Snow on the Sahara captured in Algeria

The captured zone is near to the neighbouring towns of El Maharra and Ain El Orak. In the deserts there is usually an high and wide temperature range between night and day and so the overnight snow was still fresh and safe at the dawn and in particular during the satellite acquisition. The event is probably connected to a push of cold air from the Europe, hit by bad weather conditions in the days before, that in the same way led to Scirocco winds flowing towards the mediterranean countries: this is one of the reason why we observed spring temperatures in the southern part of Italy in the last days. Here below some pictures of the event captured on the ground (photo by Karim Bouchetata).

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