snowstorm in sahara desert
The snowstorm in Sahara Desert left the city of Ain Sefra witnessing snowfall after few decades. Reuters

The small city of Ain Sefra, Algeria, witnessed sand dunes covered in snow, as more than 15 inches of snow blanketed the place, on Sunday, January 7. The largest hot desert and the third largest desert in the world after Antarctica and the Arctic, Sahara, also received snowfall after an unexpected snowstorm took over the city of Ain Sefra.

The locals were stunned to see their city being covered in snow. The usual temperature in Ain Sefra tends to be around 37-degree Celsius in summer, wheres on Sunday, temperatures dropped to almost 1-degree Celcius.

To add to that, the place is also known as The Gateway to the Desert.

Snow was last seen in Ain Sefra on February 19, 1979. However, the snowstorm that happened that day lasted for only half an hour.

The cold weather is reported to have come as a result of the frigid cold temperatures from Europe and United States of America, according to experts. 

The winterstorm Grayson that shook the US east coast with its bitter cold temperatures had witnessed the freezing of Niagra Falls as well.

A spokesperson from Met Office told Express UK "Cold air was pulled down south into North Africa over the weekend as a result of high pressure over Europe."

The unexpected flurry of snow brought joy to the residents as the temperatures touched 1-degree Celcius, as they slid down the dunes. The snow, however, melted away in 90 minutes.

Local resident Karim Bouchetata told ABC news when he saw the sight of his city covered in snow. "People were very happy, children played in the snow and everyone was taking photos."

Interestingly, the rare snowfall follows the trend of extreme temperatures in places where snowfall is not very common. States like Florida and Georgia which does not receive much snowfall due to the bomb cyclone, received plenty of snow leaving the debate wide open about the reality of climate change.

Although, Africa not being a stranger to snow, it has been extremely rare for a city like Ain Sefra, which usually has hot summers to get the cold winterstorm.

Mount Kilimanjaro is one of the few places in Africa with snow-capped mountains.