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Snow in the Sahara: the Algerian desert is wearing white

sahara desert algerien

The Sahara, usually associated with its sweltering summer temperatures, has recently witnessed a startling spectacle: snow covering its dunes.

This extraordinary phenomenon has attracted the attention of the local population as well as tourists from other regions eager to witness this incredible sight.

The Algerian desert, usually arid and inhospitable, has been transformed into a breathtaking winter wonderland. Although snow is no stranger to the Atlas Mountains of the Maghreb, it is not as common in the deserts of the region. This is only the fourth time in 42 years that snow has fallen on the Sahara.

Is there any cause for concern?

This phenomenon, however, might become more and more frequent in Algeria. Although the exact causes are not yet ascertained, experts agree that climate change could be the main reason.

For snow to form, two distinct weather conditions are required: cold temperatures and humid air.  Although we associate deserts with hot weather, temperatures in the Sahara can drop considerably during the night. As a matter of fact, a maximum cold temperature of -14 degrees Celsius was recorded in the Algerian desert in January 2005.