It snowed in one of the hottest places in the world

View of snow in the Sahara Ain Sefra Algeria

View of snow in the Sahara Ain Sefra Algeria

It appears the United States isn't alone in experiencing record-setting cold this January.

It's almost impossible to put a firm number on how many times snow has fallen in the Sahara, Stefan Kröpelin, a University of Cologne geologist who has been researching the desert's climate for years, told The New York Times on Tuesday.

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While it may be chilly along the Eastern Seaboard, the snow and ice there have nothing on the small town of Ain Sefra, Algeria, which experienced just its second snowfall in almost 40 years.

"We were really surprised when we woke up to see snow again", photographer Karim Bouchetata told Shutterstock. Luckily, the snow that accumulated around the Atlas Mountains, the range which surrounds Ain Sefra, saw up to 15 inches.

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Snow started falling on the Algerian town of Ain Sefra in the early hours of Sunday morning, giving children an opportunity to race each other down the slopes. "It stayed all day on Sunday and began melting at around 5 p.m". Thanks to this considerable accumulation, significantly more than the light dusting it experienced just over a year ago, the snow managed to stick around for a bit longer this time. And even then, the flakes fell for a mere 30 minutes. "Cold air was pulled down south in to North Africa", he told the Daily Mail. "So it's ridiculous to say that this is the first, second, third time it snowed, as nobody would know how many times it has snowed in the past unless they were there".

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