Sahara desert hit by ice blast as snow covers parts of Saudi Arabia
The Sahara Desert was hit by an icy explosion with temperatures dropping below freezing.
Snow also blanketed parts of Saudi Arabia where the mercury reached 28 degrees Fahrenheit.
A photographer captured images of camels after a snowfall in the Tabuk region of northwestern Saudi Arabia.
The region – which is close to the border with Jordan – has seen unusual weather this month.
The Desert Kingdom may experience highs of up to 122 degrees during the hot season, but this month temperatures have fallen below 32 degrees.
On January 10, residents of the mountainous region were treated to a flurry of snow.
Snow also fell this week near the desert town of Aïn Séfra in Algeria.
Photographer Karim Bouchetata took incredible photos of ice covering the sand of the small town in the Saharan desert.
Sheep were seen standing on the ice-covered dunes on Wednesday as temperatures dropped to 26.6 degrees Fahrenheit.
Ain Sefra – known as “The Gateway to the Desert” – sits approximately 3,280 feet above sea level and is surrounded by the Atlas Mountains.
Saudi Arabia also experienced snow in 2018 and locals had fun with sleds and snowballs.
Snow also fell in Lebanon, Syria and Iran – where some areas were buried under four feet.
January is the coldest month in Saudi Arabia, with the mercury averaging 68.36 degrees Fahrenheit.
Tabuk is one of the coldest parts of the country, but it generally experiences dry weather with average temperatures of 39.2 degrees.
AccuWeather senior meteorologist Eric Leister said while it’s rare for the area to have snow, it’s not completely unusual.
Researchers studying changes in precipitation in the Sahara region have found that the desert has grown considerably over the past century due to climate change.
Professor Sumant Nigam, Atmosphere and Oceans Specialist at the University of Maryland and lead author of the study, said: “Our findings are specific to the Sahara, but they likely have implications for other deserts around the world. .
It comes as parts of the UK brace for downpour days, with forecasters warning of rapid flooding causing ‘life threatening’.
Up to 2.3 feet of torrential rain is now expected to flood England and Wales earlier this week, triggering several weather warnings.
The Met Office has now issued orange and yellow alerts for Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, saying Britons should expect “heavy and prolonged” showers with melting snow causing flooding.