Ice Blankets the Sahara Desert While Snow Falls in Saudi Arabia

January 18, 2021

While January brings snow and ice to many parts of the world, the deserts of Africa and the Middle East are not usually among them.

But this month has seen snowfall in the Sahara and temperatures in Saudi Arabia plummeting to -2C (28F).

A photographer has captured ice on the sand dunes in the Sahara in dreamlike images as temperatures dipped below freezing.

Meanwhile in Saudi Arabia, locals and foreigners alike flocked to the desert in the Aseer region to enjoy the rare sight, Geo TV reported.

Photographer Karim Bouchetata’s stunning images showed the small Algerian desert town of Ain Sefra.

Sheep can be seen standing on the ice-covered dunes on Wednesday as temperatures dipped to -3C (26.6F).

Ain Sefra, known as The Gateway to the Desert, is around 1,000 metres (3.280feet) above sea level and is 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 thousands years.

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

Residents of Saudi Arabia expressed joy and excitement over the rare snowfall in the country’s Aseer region where mountains and deserts were blanketed in white.

Half a century has passed since the temperature in the region dropped below freezing.

The temperature fell as low as -2C (28F) in the southwestern region where camels were pictured surrounded by snow.

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