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Sahara Desert in North Western Algeria receives a rare snowfall

Snow has settled on the sand of the Sahara Desert after temperatures dropped below freezing. Ice blanketed the dune in the rare phenomenon in the largest desert in the world, where temperatures of 136.4F (58C) have been recorded.

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While January brings snow and cold to many parts of the world, a hot desert receiving snow is pretty unheard of. As bizarre as it might seem, it has actually happened.

Freak weather made its way to Africa and the Middle East with temperatures dipping below freezing point, and some parts of the Sahara desert astonishingly receiving snow. 

After temperatures dropped below zero, snowfall created stunning patterns across the dunes of the Sahara Desert.

The photographs were taken earlier this month near the town of Ain Sefra in northwest Algeria and feature snow and ice. In the last 40 years, the area has barely seen a few inches of snow.

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A nature’s miracle 

Ain Sefra, located 1,000 metres above sea level in the Atlas Mountains, is renowned as “the doorway to the desert.” It is located in Algeria’s Naama province, in the northern portion of the Sahara, near the Moroccan border.

Photographer Karim Bouchetata has captured ice on the sand dunes in the Sahara in dreamlike images as the region sees uncommon scenes. The town of Aïn Séfra in northwestern Algeria was blanketed in snow on Monday after the weather fell below freezing in an area, Daily Mail reported.

This is only the fifth time in the past 42 years that snow has fallen on the town, and it left local residents freezing as the mercury dipped down to -2C overnight.

Aïn Séfra – known as “The Gateway to the Desert” – is around 1,000 metres above sea level and surrounded by the Atlas Mountains.

The Sahara Desert covers most of Northern Africa and it has gone through shifts in temperature and moisture over the past few hundred thousand years.

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While it is a known fact that temperatures in deserts can drop dramatically overnight, that usually doesn’t bring with it any ice or snow, at least partially because of the low levels of moisture.

But it was a respite from the scorching heat, at least for a while

Earlier this month, Saudi Arabia’s northwestern city of Tabuk witnessed unusual weather, leaving the region capped in the snow after a huge drop in temperature overnight, Gulf News reported.

The peak of Jabal Al Lawz was completely covered in white, as the Tabuk region witnessed heavy rain and snowfall.

The rare sight led to people thronging the region and soaking up the occasion.