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What a Rare Snow in the Sahara Looks Like From Space

This winter has brought extreme weather to some unexpected places — like snow in the Sahara.

Images captured from the Copernicus Sentinel-2 satellite show the blanketing snowfall in northwest Algeria, right on the edge of the Sahara desert — which averages between 104 degrees and 117 degrees Fahrenheit in the summer. The images were captured on January 7, according to the European Space Agency.

Joshua Stevens/NASA Earth Observatory

While the snowfall was less than an inch and gone by the next day, the satellite images — both from the ESA and NASA — offer an unusual view of this desert.

Other than this area being extremely warm, the Sahara is also very dry, which makes the accumulation of snow especially rare. However, snow can usually fall on the High Atlas Mountains, according to the ESA.

Ain Sefra Village Algeria Sahara Desert Snow Winter NASA horizonasia
Joshua Stevens/NASA Earth Observatory

The images show the lower Saharan Atlas Mountain Range, where snow is not usually seen. There was snow last year, CNN reported, but before that the last recorded snowfall was nearly 40 years ago.

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