Sahara desert sees snowfall for the third time in 40 years

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Residents of Ain Sefra in northern Algeria welcomed the sight of snow in the Sahara, the hottest desert in the world. A rare bout of icy weather hit the town, covering parts of the sandy slopes in the snow, even though it melts as temperatures rise during the day.

Photo Credit: Karim Bouchetata/Geoff Robinson Photography

The unexpected flurry marked the third time in 40 years that the town of Ain Sefra in Algeria has experienced snowfall, the second most recent being just last year.

TSA Algeria reported that just over 40 cm of snow fell, starting in the early hours of the morning and that it began to thaw after 5 pm local time.

The town of Ain Sefra in Algeria is known as the gateway to the Sahara-the hottest desert in the world.

In 2016, the town was hit by enough snow that children were able to build snowmen and go sledging down the dunes.

The deep snow caused chaos around Christmas with roads becoming icy - leaving passengers getting stranded in buses.

Prior to that, snow was reportedly seen in Ain Sefra, known as 'The Gateway to the Desert', where the Atla mountains meet the Sahara Desert, was on February 18, 1979, when the snowstorm lasted just half an hour.

Meteorologists believe that this freaky twist of weather is because of the result of high pressure over Europe pushing low-pressure systems unusually far south.

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