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Snowstorm blankets Sahara desert in white

Related Story: Snowstorm hits Sahara for first time in nearly 40 years

The usually sun-kissed sand dunes of the Sahara desert have been blanketed in snow for the third time in almost 40 years.

With temperatures touching 1 degree Celsius, residents in the Algerian town of Ain Sefra — known as the gateway to the Sahara — enjoyed sliding down the dunes before 40cm of snowfall melted away by the afternoon.

Snow falls on the Sahara Desert after a freak storm hits the area.

Local resident Karim Bouchetata said they were surprised when they awoke to the unusual scene.

"People were very happy, children played in the snow and everyone was taking photos," he told the ABC.

Snow fall on the sand dunes of the Sahara

Grabbing his camera, Mr Bouchetata photographed his town and the surrounding mountains.

"This is the only place in Algeria that gathers four contrasting paintings," he said.

"The city is topped by dunes, followed by the forest and then the mountains."

Snow fall on the sand dunes of the Sahara

Mr Bouchetata said the town itself was coated in a few inches of snow, while the surrounding sand dunes and the Atlas mountains beyond were blanketed in white.

It is only the third time in almost 40 years the Sahara desert has seen snow.

Locals posted photos on Facebook and Twitter of the orange sand poking through under a blanket of white.

External Link: Twitter Algeria snowfall

In December 2016, about a metre of snow fell.

Prior to that, snow fell for just 30 minutes in 1979.

External Link: Youtube Algeria footage

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