Picture the Sahara, the immense expanse of desert in Northern Africa. The entire desert is roughly the size of the mainland United States. When picturing the climate, youre likely thinking of sand, sun, and blistering temperatures. And youd be right. Normally.
This is a pretty typical idea of the Sahara: a huge stretch with minimal precipitation. Some areas of the desert regularly go without any precipitation for decades.
Even the Sahara experiences some unexpected weather sometimes. There have, to date, been only two recorded instances of snow in the Sahara. One was in February of 1979, where the snow survived for half an hour, but there are barely any photos of the event. It wasnt until January of 2012 when it snowed again. It was better documented during this bizarre instance.
January of 2012 saw snow in Algeria. The golden desert suddenly turned white.
The snow happened when a cold front traveled across Europe and dipped farther south than normal. Naturally, it was a bit surprising to the locals.