Those viral pictures of snow in the Sahara are real


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In a week of weather disasters, a sprinkling of snow in the Sahara desert was an unexpected bright spot. The freak flurry covered parts of the desert with up to 15 inches of snow on Sunday, The Washington Post reports. Local photographers and satellites high above caught the creamsicle-colored scene on camera.

The rare snowfall over Earth’s largest hot desert was part of the same atmospheric pattern that brought a brutal chill to the East Coast over the past weeks — freezing alligators snout-up in the pond at a North Carolina zoo. (The alligators are fine, the Charlotte Observer reports.) That weird weather wasn’t isolated, either, says atmospheric scientist Mike Kaplan at the Desert Research Institute in Nevada. It was part of an atmospheric pattern spanning the entire northern hemisphere.

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