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Dispatches Quick Takes

Karim Bouchetata

(Karim Bouchetata)

Quick Takes

A frost in the desert

A rare cold snap in Algeria created a picture-perfect landscape for some North African photographers—a frozen Sahara Desert. For just the fourth time in 42 years, sand dunes outside of ’Aïn Séfra, Algeria, froze over in January. Local photographer Karim Bouchetata captured scenes of ice crystals accumulating in the ridges of the dunes outside of town. Temperatures in the Atlas Mountains town dropped to 27 degrees Fahrenheit—30 degrees cooler than the average January temperature. Still, this year’s frost, while a rarity, pales in comparison to some recent wintry weather: Fifteen inches of snow fell on the desert town in 2018. The year before that, a rare blizzard dropped 3 feet of snow. According to Sky News, temperatures in ’Aïn Séfra, sitting on the northern edge of the Sahara and known as “the gateway to the desert,” average 100 degrees in the summer.

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