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Sahara snow

12 January 2018

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The Copernicus Sentinel-2 mission captured rare snowfall in northwest Algeria, on the edge of the Sahara desert on 08 January.

Part of the Sahara was covered with snow on 07 January 2018, despite the desert at times being one of the hottest places on Earth. The snow was reported to be up to 40 cm thick in some places. Although temperatures plummet during the night, snowfall is very unusual in the Sahara because the air is so dry. It is only the third time in nearly 40 years that this part of the desert has seen snow.

Most of the snow had melted by the end of the next day, but luckily the Sentinel-2A satellite happened to be in the right place at the right time to record this rare event from space.

Sahara snow

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Discover more about our planet with the Earth from Space video programme. Join ESA every Friday at 10:00 CEST for an 800 km-high tour with spectacular images from Earth-observing satellites.

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The Earth Watching project is an ESA/ESRIN service to help local authorities and to promote the benefits of remote sensing data during emergencies, sending images and articles to newspapers, magazines and TV stations.

The Earth Watching website features not only imagery of natural disasters, but also promotes various satellite remote sensing applications through images and articles. Some examples are shown in the special events part of the website.

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