In which desert is it snowing

Children's knowledge Snow in the Sahara desert

From child reporter Paul

At the moment the weather is kind of crazy: it is mild here, in the south it is snowing.

From child reporter Paul

Ain Sefra - These days there was an unusual spectacle in the Sahara: It was snowing! However, the snowflakes only reached the ground in higher regions in Morocco and Algeria, namely in parts of the Atlas Mountains from an altitude of 900 meters. There, as reported by local media and weather experts, the temperatures temporarily dropped to minus five degrees. And in the city of Ain Sefra, populated by around 35,000 people - it is located in Algeria not far from the border with Morocco a good thousand meters above sea level - even 40 centimeters of snow are said to have fallen. But the white splendor did not last long: As soon as it got warmer during the day, it thawed quickly.

In December 2016, too, snow fell there - but far less than now. Before that, the weather experts report, the last time a half-hour snow storm covered the red sand dunes with a white layer of snow in February 1979. This shows how seldom it snows in the Sahara desert. But that doesn't mean that it can't get bitterly cold there at night. In winter it is not that rare for temperatures to drop below freezing point. And even in summer, when it gets 40 or even 45 degrees during the day, the thermometer can drop to ten degrees at night. This is because the ground cools down quickly because there are no clouds that could reflect the heat back. In addition, rocks and sand do not store heat as well as bodies of water, for example.

But why was it so cold in the Sahara right now? This has to do with the freezing temperatures on the east coast of America and with a high pressure area with quite mild temperatures in Europe. This enabled a rarely occurring cold-weather front to advance far south. It brought freezing temperatures and unusual snowfalls to Spain, Portugal and North Africa. Therefore, Spain also had to struggle with a severe onset of winter. The result was a huge traffic chaos.