The Sahara desert, which is the largest hot desert in the world, has been photographed with a fall of snow for the second time in three years.
Images taken by Nasa’s Landsat 8, an Earth observation satellite, showed snowfall near the northern Algerian town of Ain Sefra, which sits between the Atlas Mountains and the northern edge of the Sahara.
Experts say the desert snow was caused by high pressure systems in Europe pushing cold air further south than they typically go.
But they also believe that while snowfall in the region is rare, there are not enough monitoring facilities to determine whether the phenomenon is extremely unusual.
Rein Haarsma, a climate researcher at the Royal Netherlands Meteorological Institute, told the New York Times: “It’s rare, but it’s not that rare.
“There is exceptional weather at all places, and this did not happen because of climate change.”
The last time snow fell on Ain Sefra, home to roughly 35,000 people, was in 2016.
This is also the third time the town, sometimes referred to as the “gateway to the desert”, has seen snow in 37 years.
The last recorded snowfall in Ain Sefra occurred in February 1979.