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Snow falls in SAHARA DESERT for only second time in living memory

Mirror logo Mirror 22-12-2016 Chris Baynes

Credits: Geoff Robinson © Trinity Mirror PLC Credits: Geoff Robinson

Most of Britain may not see a white Christmas this year - but the SAHARA could after snow fell on the desert for only the second time in living memory.

Credits: Geoff Robinson © Provided by Trinity Mirror Plc Credits: Geoff Robinson Red sands turned white as icy flakes fell near the small Algerian town of Ain Sefra yesterday afternoon. The last time snow fell on the dunes of the Sahara, the world's largest hot desert, was 37 years ago. The amazing sight was documented in pictures by amateur photographer Karim Bouchetata.

Credits: Geoff Robinson © Provided by Trinity Mirror Plc Credits: Geoff Robinson Snow was last seen in Ain Sefra, known as the Gateway to the Desert, on February 18, 1979. Then, the snow storm lasted just half an hour. But this time flakes stayed for about day in the town, which is around 1,000 metres above sea level and surrounded by the Atlas Mountains.

Credits: Geoff Robinson © Provided by Trinity Mirror Plc Credits: Geoff Robinson Karim said: "Everyone was stunned to see snow falling in the dessert, it is such a rare occurrence. It looked amazing as the snow settled on the sand and made a great set of photos. "The snow stayed for about a day and has now melted away."

Credits: Geoff Robinson © Provided by Trinity Mirror Plc Credits: Geoff Robinson The Sahara covers most of northern Africa and has gone through shifts in temperature and moisture over the past few hundred thousand years. The desert is one of the hottest and driest areas of the world today, although it is expected to become green again in about 15,000 years. Ain Sefra's average temperature last year was 20C.

Credits: Geoff Robinson © Provided by Trinity Mirror Plc Credits: Geoff Robinson Forecasters are not expecting a flurry of snow over Christmas this year.

Credits: Geoff Robinson © Provided by Trinity Mirror Plc Credits: Geoff Robinson But Storm Barbara is expected to wreak havoc with families' festive plans by pummeling parts of the country with wet and windy weather on Friday and Saturday.

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