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Frost covers sand dunes of Ain Sefra for the fifth winter in a row, Algeria

snow-frost-desert-ain-sefra-2022

Sand dunes around the Algerian town of Ain Sefra — a region known as The Gateway to the Sahara — were seen covered with frost on January 17, 2022, as overnight temperatures dipped to -2 °C (28 °F)

You can hardly call this rare anymore, as this is the fifth winter in a row we receive images of snow- or frost-covered sand dunes around Ain Sefra from photographer Karim Bouchetata who lives in the city.

Before 2018, the city saw measurable snow in 2016, 2013, and 1979.

To the surprise of many, on February 18, 1979 snow was reported in the country's south, far away from Ain Sefra.

It was the first time in living memory that low-altitude areas of the Sahara desert recorded snow.

Several Saharan mountain ranges, however, receive snow on a more regular basis.

All images courtesy of Karim Bouchetata – January 2022. Used with permission.

Ain Sefra on January 17, 2022.

Ain Sefra, Algeria as seen by Sentinel-2 satellite on January 17, 2022. Credit: Copernicus EU, TW

Ain Sefra on January 13, 2021.


Ain Sefra (Aïn Séfra) is a town and municipality in western Algeria. The region it is located in is known as "The Gateway to the Desert." It is situated in the Saharan Atlas Mountains, 45 km (28 miles) east of the border with Morocco. The town lies in a broad valley between Mount Aïssa and Mount Mekter. 

Featured image credit Karim Bouchetata

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