Typhoon Mangkhut Hits Hong Kong/mainland China; 40 reported dead in Philippines

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF CNN)

 

Typhoon Mangkhut lashes Hong Kong and mainland China; 40 reported dead in Philippines

Hong Kong (CNN)Hong Kong residents huddled indoors Sunday and strong winds sent debris flying as Typhoon Mangkhut, the world’s strongest storm this year, carved a destructive and deadly path from the Philippines toward mainland China.

The Hong Kong Observatory (HKO) raised the storm signal to T10 — the highest level possible — Sunday morning local time, with the city almost entirely shut down.
Fierce winds have already torn off roofs, smashed windows and downed trees in Hong Kong, as authorities warned of the threat of storm surges and flooding from torrential rain.
Mangkhut was recorded packing sustained winds of 173 kilometers per hour (107 miles per hour) and gusts up to 223 kilometers per hour (138 miles per hour) as the storm’s eye passed south of the territory in the early afternoon, according to the HKO.
At 4 p.m. local time, the storm was 110 kilometers (68 miles) west-southwest of Hong Kong, and heading for the surrounding Pearl River Delta, home to 120 million people, the HKO reported later Sunday. Mangkhut was expected to make landfall sometime Sunday evening in southern mainland China.
Along the coast, the gambling enclave of Macau, which was hit hard by Super Typhoon Hato last August, closed all its casinos, and all fishing boats from China’s Guangdong province have been called into port.
A shop owner is rescued by members of the fire brigade from a flooded area of Macau on Sunday.

The storm is expected to be one for Hong Kong’s record books. It’s only the 15th time in the last 60 years that a storm has been classified as T10; the last was for Super Typhoon Hato last year.

On Saturday, it plowed into the Philippines, flattening homes in small towns and villages on the northern island of Luzon. The presidential spokesperson for Rodrigo Duterte told reporters Sunday that 40 people had died.

Harry Roque said most of the deaths were due to landslides and mainly occurred in the Cordillera Administrative Region.
The official death toll complied by the Philippines disaster agency still stands at zero as it instituted a stringent criteria for associating deaths with storms following Typhoon Haiyan in 2013.

The region braces

Hong Kong’s famed Victoria Harbor was hit with a storm surge of more than 3.9 meters (12.8 feet) above chart datum Sunday. Hong Kong’s famous skyline, filled with massive buildings jutting up from the hill, was almost completely obscured as squalls roared through, however visibility has since improved.
More than 550 flights have been canceled at airports in Hong Kong, Shenzhen and Guangzhou, and more than 200 have been delayed, according to Flightaware.com. Most of Hong Kong’s public transport has been suspended.
Hong Kong authorities have been warning residents about the storm for days. On Saturday, grocery stores were packed with people stocking up on goods. Buildings across the city were either boarded up or had their windows taped in order to mitigate the damage of broken glass.
Other cities around the Pearl River Delta — which includes Hong Kong, Guangzhou, Shenzhen, Zhuhai and Macau — are on high alert.
Guangzhou, the capital and most populous city in Guangdong province, issued its highest typhoon emergency alert, according People’s Daily, a state-run media outlet. More than 100,000 people have been evacuated. Airports in Shenzhen, a technology hub across the border from Hong Kong, and on the resort island of Hainan have canceled all flights, according to Chinese state media.

Mangkhut slams into the Philippines

Mangkhut struck the northern Philippines as a super typhoon, causing flooding and landslides on the northern island of Luzon.
It made landfall in the Philippines Saturday at 1:40 a.m. local time, packing winds of up to 270 kph (165 mph), 120 kph (75 mph) stronger than Hurricane Florence that hit North Carolina.
Known locally as Ompong, Mangkhut ripped roofs off buildings, uprooted trees, blocked roads with debris and dumped water on fields of crops.
More than 250,000 people were affected by the storm across the country, with around half of those seeking shelter in evacuation centers in the country’s north.
Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte will head to the region Sunday to see the damage and recovery operations, presidential Palace Communications Secretary Martin Andanar told CNN.
The most severe damage came in Luzon’s north, a sparsely populated region that’s considered the breadbasket of the Philippines, though areas as far away as Manila — more than 340 km (200 miles) from the eye of the storm — were hit with heavy rains that caused flooding in urban areas.
As of Saturday, the storm had caused 51 landslides in the Philippines’ north. Search crews are looking for people reported missing in the mountainous Cordillera region, Political Affairs Secretary Francis Tolentino said.
Though the storm system has moved on, extent of the damage has been difficult to assess Sunday as fierce winds were replaced by flood waters, blocking access and aid to affected areas. A vital transportation hub in the region, Tuguegarao airport in northern Luzon, was damaged in the storms, according to the Department of Transportation, forcing the cancellation of more than 100 local and international flights.
Mangkhut is expected to make another landfall late Sunday night, hitting the Chinese province of Guangdong near the cities of Yangjiang and Zhanjiang.
From there the system will continue to move westward and will rain itself out over northern Vietnam, which could lead to some flooding there early next week.

Iranian general blames water woes on Israeli ‘cloud theft’

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE TIMES OF ISRAEL)

(WHEN YOUR HEART AND SOUL ARE FILLED WITH HATE IT TENDS TO SHOW THAT YOU ONLY HAVE SH-T FOR BRAINS WHEN YOU OPEN YOUR MOUTH) (oped: oldpoet56)

Iranian general blames water woes on Israeli ‘cloud theft’

But country’s chief meteorologist disputes claim, says clouds and snow can’t be stolen

Brigadier General Gholam Reza Jalali of Iran's Civil Defense Organization (Screen capture: YouTube)

Brigadier General Gholam Reza Jalali of Iran’s Civil Defense Organization (Screen capture: YouTube)

An Iranian general on Monday accused Israel of manipulating weather to prevent rain over the Islamic Republic, alleging his country was facing cloud “theft,” before being contradicted by the nation’s weather chief.

“The changing climate in Iran is suspect,” Brigadier General Gholam Reza Jalali, head of Iran’s Civil Defense Organization told a press conference, semi-official ISNA news agency reported.

“Foreign interference is suspected to have played a role in climate change,” Jalali was quoted as saying, insisting results from an Iranian scientific study “confirm” the claim.

“Israel and another country in the region have joint teams which work to ensure clouds entering Iranian skies are unable to release rain,” he said.

“On top of that, we are facing the issue of cloud and snow theft,” Jalali added, citing a survey showing that, above 2,200 meters (7,218 feet), all mountainous areas between Afghanistan and the Mediterranean are covered in snow, except Iran.

An abandoned ship is stuck in the solidified salts of the Oroumieh Lake, Iran, on April 29, 2011. (AP Photo/Vahid Salemi, File)

Iran’s own meteorological service struck a skeptical note, however.

General Jalali “probably has documents of which I am not aware, but on the basis of meteorological knowledge, it is not possible for a country to steal snow or clouds,” said the head of Iran’s meteorological service Ahad Vazife, quoted by ISNA.

“Iran has suffered a prolonged drought, and this is a global trend that does not apply only to Iran,” Vazife said.

“Raising such questions not only does not solve any of our problems, but will deter us from finding the right solutions,” he added, in apparent reference to Jalali’s claims.

The general’s allegations of weather pilfering were not the first time an Iranian official has accused the country’s foes of stealing its rain.

Former president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in 2011 accused Western countries of devising plans to “cause drought” in Iran, adding that “European countries used special equipment to force clouds to dump” their water on their continent.

In a video last month addressed to Iranians, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu offered to share Israel’s water expertise with Iran, saying “the Iranian people are victims of a cruel and tyrannical regime that denies them vital water.”

Netanyahu told the Iranians that Israel faced similar water issues and found ways of dealing with them, adding that Israeli technology can help the Iranians.

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Extreme weather in India has killed 61 people in a day

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF QUARTZ INDIA)

 

Extreme weather in India has killed 61 people in a day

29 mins ago Quartz India

Extreme weather is once again wreaking havoc across India.

On May 13, at least 61 people were reportedly killed as heavy thunderstorms and dust storms struck Uttar Pradesh (UP), West Bengal, and Andhra Pradesh, besides the capital city of New Delhi.

While a thunderstorm and hail left 38 people dead in UP, lightning reportedly killed 12 people in West Bengal and nine in Andhra Pradesh. Another two lost their lives in Delhi, where a strong dust storm accompanied by heavy rain and winds of up to 109 kmph uprooted nearly 200 trees and brought traffic to a standstill. The Indira Gandhi International Airport was reportedly forced to suspend operations for over two hours, and around 70 flights were diverted; parts of Delhi’s metro line were also stalled.

The latest storms come just a few weeks after a freak dust storm, the worst in at least 20 years, crushed houses in UP and Rajasthan, killing over 100 people and injuring many more. At around the same time, Andhra Pradesh was struck by over 4,000 bolts of lightning that killed 14 people in a single day.

The recent bad weather has been caused by the combination of a north-south trough (a low-pressure system) currently stretching from northwest Rajasthan to Maharashtra and a cyclonic circulation that is now over West Bengal, according to the India Meteorological Department (IMD). High temperatures have created heatwave conditions in many states and made the atmosphere more unstable, prompting the thunderstorms and heavy winds that have left a trail of destruction across India.

While temperatures are expected to come down once the pre-monsoon hits, the IMD has forecast more thunderstorms and heavy winds this week. On May 14 and 15, states such as Punjab, Haryana, UP, and West Bengal, besides Delhi, Karnataka, Telangana, and Tamil Nadu are all expected to be lashed by bad weather. And in its latest All-India Weather Warning Bulletin, the IMD also added that another dust storm was “very likely” in Rajasthan on May 14.

Weather experts say the intensity of these events is linked to the effects of rising temperatures. In recent years, average and extreme temperatures have been on the rise across India, and heatwaves have become even more deadly, especially in parts of Andhra Pradesh and Telangana. With this spate of extreme weather aggravated by high temperatures, it’s clear that climate change is increasingly taking a toll on Indian lives.

Killer dust storm blasts India, leaving at least 125 dead

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE WASHINGTON POST)

 

‘It was a nightmare’: Killer dust storm blasts India, leaving at least 125 dead

 May 3 at 2:18 PM 

Severe storms brought flooding, tornadoes and hail across the country April 15, leaving thousands without power and downing buildings. 

Severe winds and rapid-fire lightning strikes from a violent dust storm demolished homes and displaced trees across India on Wednesday, killing at least 125 people and injuring more than 200 others — with more potentially deadly weather still to come, officials said.

At least 111 people were killed in the northern states of Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan and Punjab, with many of them in Agra, the city that houses the Taj Mahal, according to BBC News and Agence France-Presse.

Another 14 people were killed in the southern state of Andhra Pradesh, “which was hammered by more than 41,000 lightning strikes on Wednesday,” AFP reported.

Homes and businesses now lay in rubble littered with downed trees and electrical lines.

Livestock are dead. Schools are closed.

And residents are bracing for another storm that’s predicted to strike in a few days: The Indian Express reported early Thursday that Indian Meteorological Department scientist Himanshu Sharma warned of another round of dangerous weather likely to strike the area.

“There is a high probability that winds will intensify in the next 48 hours in Rajasthan, which may lead to another dust storm,” he told the Press Trust of India. “It will affect areas of Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan border, especially Karauli and Dholpur.”

The majority of the deaths were in Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan, in the north.

The death toll in Rajasthan soared past three dozen, and the number may continue to climb, according to the Indian Express. The worst damage was in the Bharatpur district, according to the newspaper. “Most of the deaths occurred after walls and roofs of houses collapsed in the middle of the night,” T. Ravikanth, the district divisional commissioner in the state capital, Jaipur, told CNN.

Dust storms have hit India in the past, but officials said what made this storm so deadly was the fallen debris.

“Many houses collapsed due to high intensity winds, or the trees fell over onto the houses,” Sanjay Kumar, Uttar Pradesh’s state relief commissioner for the National Disaster Management Authority in India, told CNN, explaining how residents had become trapped and died.

India’s National Disaster Management Authority issued an alert earlier in the week, warning residents about “severe thunderstorm activity” with hail and strong wind gusts in Gangetic West Bengal and Odisha, as well as other areas in eastern and northeastern India — but not specifically Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh.

“I’ve been in office for 20 years, and this is the worst I’ve seen,” Hemant Gera, secretary for disaster management and relief in Rajasthan, told BBC News about the storm.

“We had a high intensity dust storm on 11 April — 19 people died then — but this time it struck during the night, so many people sleeping and couldn’t get out of their houses when mud walls collapsed.”

Shivam Lohia, who owns a resort hotel in Rajasthan, told AFP that his car was almost blown away in the storm. He abandoned the vehicle on a road, he said, and ran for his life.

“Everyone was scared and running for cover as trees and homes were getting blown away,” Lohia said. “It was a nightmare.”

Prime Minister Narendra Modi said in a statement Thursday that he was “saddened by the loss of lives” and that he has asked state governments to provide assistance to those who need it.

PMO India

@PMOIndia

Saddened by the loss of lives due to dust storms in various parts of India. Condolences to the bereaved families. May the injured recover soon.

Have asked officials to coordinate with the respective state governments and work towards assisting those who have been affected: PM

Chicago is bracing for its biggest snow since 2015

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF CNN)

 

Chicago is bracing for its biggest snow since 2015

Story highlights

  • Huge snowfall expected in Midwest swath
  • Schools will be closed in metro Chicago, Detroit

(CNN)Chicago commuters, there’s no other way to put this: Your drive Friday is going to be a bear.

A narrow band of very heavy snow will hit the United States’ third largest city by population beginning Thursday night. Schools will be closed as millions see accumulations of 8 to 14 inches by late Friday.
“Travel will be very difficult to impossible at times, including during the morning commute,” the National Weather Service said in a winter storm warning.
The snow will linger into Saturday, and a lighter round is likely Sunday.
Detroit will get a snow dump of its own: The forecast is for 6 to 9 inches. It, too, has closed its schools.
Chicago officials say they are ready. Trucks, plows and tons of salt are in position, they said at a Thursday afternoon news conference.
“Make no mistake about it: This is a heavy snow, heavier than we have seen in a number of winters,” said Mayor Rahm Emanuel. “Now, Chicago is used to this. On the other hand, over the last winters we haven’t had a snow at this level. And it is not just one night, it is going to go through the weekend.”
Chicagoans are a hardy bunch, but a foot of snow is still a big deal. From 1884 to 2018, Chicago has had only nine days with 12-plus inches of snow.
Residents weathered 20 inches over two days in February 2011. A storm in February 2015, logging in at 16.2 inches, was the last time Chicago had more than 10 inches of snow in a single storm.
Chicago and Detroit flight cancellations for Friday were on the way up, according to tracking website flightaware.com. By Thursday evening, more than 600 flights were canceled to and from the two cities.
To the east, snow emergencies have been declared in many metro Detroit communities, according to CNN affiliate WDIV. Michigan State Police said “snowmageddon” was approaching.
“Please remember with all of the school closings that there will be lots of kids playing in the snow and they may not be watching! Drive carefully!” the agency tweeted.

(Love Poem) High Winds

HIGH WINDS

 

Not tired so I decided to stay up a while tonight

No particular reason, just that I wished to tonight

About one A.M. I start to hear the high winds roll

Down the Pass straight to our home they blow

The house creaks and cracks to say it’s hello

 

Wife sound a sleep at the back-end of the house we share

Winds always bother her, she has lived in the alley of big blows

My lady had snoozed so I ushered her to bed about midnight

A big blow once picked up her car with her and her baby inside

It sat them back down on the highway, still unhurt and alive

 

Sweet dreams to my Lady, sleeping quietly tonight

Wrapped up with her Boo kitty all snuggled in tight

About five A.M. now, it think the big winds have died

Big winds can be so soothing, or, bring a chill to your bones

Sleep well my Lady, the high winds meant nothing tonight

 

 

Temperatures Plunged to -88.6°F in Parts of Russia

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF TIME NEWS)

 

By ASSOCIATED PRESS

Updated: January 16, 2018 12:33 PM ET

(MOSCOW) — People living in some of the coldest places on earth are hunkering down as temperatures fall to near-record lows that are even defeating thermometers.

Temperatures in the remote, diamond-rich Russian region of Yakutia on Tuesday plunged to minus 67 degrees Celsius (minus 88.6 degrees Fahrenheit) in some areas.

In Yakutia — about 3,300 miles east of Moscow — where students routinely go to school in minus 40 degrees, school was canceled throughout the region. Local police also ordered parents to keep their children at home.

Over the weekend, two men froze to death when they tried to walk to a nearby farm after their car broke down. Three other men who were with them survived because they were wearing warmer clothes, local investigators reported on Monday.

The press office of Yakutia’s governor said Tuesday all households and businesses in the region have working central heating and access to backup power generators.

In the village of Oymyakon, one of the coldest inhabited places on earth, state-owned television showed mercury falling to the bottom of a thermometer that was only set up to measure down to minus 50. In 2013, Oymyakon recorded an all-time low of minus 71 degrees Celsius (minus 98 Fahrenheit).

Residents of Yakutia, home to nearly 1 million people, are no strangers to cold weather, and this week’s cold spell was not even dominating headlines in local media on Tuesday. Some media outlets, however, ran stories of selfies and stunts in the extreme cold. Women posted pictures of their frozen eyelashes, while YakutiaMedia published a picture of Chinese students who got undressed to take a plunge in a thermal spring.

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Plane Skids off Runway, Over Cliff in Northern Turkey

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE ‘WEATHER COMPANY’)

 

Plane Skids off Runway, Over Cliff in Northern Turkey

By Melissa Kory

4 hours ago

weather.com

image
A Boeing 737-800 of Turkey’s Pegasus Airlines after skidding off the runway downhill towards the sea at the airport in Trabzon, Turkey, Sunday, Jan. 14, 2018. Trabzon Gov. Yucel Yavuz said all 162 passengers and crew on board were evacuated and safe early Sunday. The cause of the accident was not yet known. (DHA-Depo Photos via AP)

At a Glance

  • A plane with 168 people skidded off a runway in northern Turkey.
  • The plane came to rest on a slope close to the Black Sea.
  • No injuries were reported.

A commercial airplane skidded off a runway and down the side of a cliff overlooking the Black Sea while landing at an airport in the northern Turkish province of Trabzon Saturday night.

“Light rain was reported at the Trabzon airport late Saturday night into early Sunday morning,” weather.com meteorologist Christopher Dolce said.

The Pegasus Airlines Boeing 737-800 had 162 passengers and six crew members on board, according to the Associated Press.

View image on TwitterView image on TwitterView image on TwitterView image on Twitter

flight overruns the runway at Airport in All 162 passengers were evacuated with only minor injuries reported.

The passengers were evacuated and no injuries were reported. The cause of the incident is still being investigated, BBC reports.

“We tilted to the side, the front was down while the plane’s rear was up. There was panic; people shouting, screaming,” Fatma Gordu, who was on the flight, told state-run news agency Anadolu.

“It’s a miracle we escaped. We could have burned, exploded, flown into the sea,” Gordu said. “Thank God for this. I feel like I’m going crazy when I think about it.”

The airport was closed for several hours before resuming flights on Sunday morning.

It’s so hot in Australia that bats’ brains are frying

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE WASHINGTON POST)

 

It’s so hot in Australia that bats’ brains are frying

 January 9 at 1:32 PM
 4:27
Sydney heat wave kills hundreds of flying foxes

Hundreds of flying foxes in the Greater Sydney area were found dead amid an extreme heat wave that struck Sydney on January 7.

It has been a weird few weeks of weather. In North America, Canadians and Floridians alike shivered through freezing temperatures, a bomb cyclone and a polar vortex. (It got so cold that iguanas froze and fell out of trees.)

Meanwhile, over in Australia, where it is summer now, it has been especially hot. Sweltering, really.

In Sydney, temperatures hit 117 degrees Fahrenheit on Sunday, the hottest it has been since 1939. That oppressive heat, a side effect of climate change, has made life hard for the country’s humans and infrastructure. Heat waves result in 10 percent more calls for ambulances and 10 percent more deaths, local experts said. Police in Victoria, on Australia’s southeastern coast, warned drivers last week that a six-mile stretch of a freeway in the central part of the state had melted. A spokeswoman for VicRoads, which manages Victoria’s road systems, told the Australian Broadcasting Corp. that hot weather caused the asphalt to become “soft and sticky” and the road surface to bleed.

It has also been nearly unbearable for some animals. “Anytime we have any type of heat event, we know we’re going to have a lot of animals in need,” animal specialist Kristie Harris told the BBC. It was so hot that possums burned their paws on roofs and roads. Birds needed to be specially rehydrated. Koalas around the region were being sprayed down to keep them cool.

And hundreds of flying fox bats died because they didn’t have enough cover to protect themselves from the heat. Animal rescuers in Sydney described “heartbreaking” scenes of dozens of dead baby bats piled on the ground. As the adult bats sought shade near a creek, babies were left dangling from trees with no means to survive the heat, according to a charity organization in the Sydney suburb of Campbelltown, home to colonies of flying foxes. Many were found scattered on the ground. Others died before they made it down.

“It was unbelievable. I saw a lot of dead bats on the ground and others were close to the ground and dying,” volunteer Cate Ryan told the Guardian. “I have never seen anything like it before.”

Flying foxes have adapted to Australia’s warm climate, but these fruit-eating bats are unable to regulate their body temperature when the outside temperature rises above 104 degrees Fahrenheit. The young ones are especially vulnerable, Ryan told the Camden-Narellan Advertiser.

“They have less heat tolerance,” she said. “Their brain just fries and they become incoherent.” Often, she said, they will simply get too hot and fall to the ground while the adults seek out precious shade.


A heat-stricken bat is rescued in Sydney. (Help Save the Wildlife and Bushlands in Campbelltown/AFP/Getty Images)

Wildlife volunteers and rescuers spent Sunday picking up bodies of about 200 flying foxes, most of which were babies, according to the charity Help Save the Wildlife and Bushlands in Campbelltown. The death toll was expected to rise to the thousands, as many were still dangling from trees and were unreachable to volunteers.

“Many pups were on their last breaths before getting much needed help . . . There were tears shed and hearts sunken,” the charity said Sunday in a lengthy Facebook post. “It’s devastating when a colony like our local one goes down like this due to heat, this colony needs more canopy cover and shaded areas to help with our ever rising hot summers because this episode will surely not be the last.”

Australia considers the gray-headed flying fox, one of four types, a vulnerable species — with about 400,000 left, down from more than 560,000 in 1989. The bats live in woods and swamps along Australia’s east coast and play an important role in pollination and seed transportation.

Experts link the plight of flying foxes to the globe’s steadily rising temperature. More than 30,000 flying foxes died across Australia during heat waves between 1994 and 2008, bat ecologist Micaela Jemison wrote in 2014.

Last year, more than 2,000 flying foxes were found dead in the Richmond Valley region of northern New South Wales on Australia’s east coast, the Australian Broadcasting Corp. reported. Temperatures topped 113 degrees Fahrenheit. About 100,000 bats across the state of Queensland died during a heat wave in 2014.

“This is of great concern to scientists not only due to the increased risk of these ‘die off’ events, but also for the long term impact it will have on the recovery of several of these already threatened species,” Jemison wrote.

Australia’s heat wave — and the United States’s bomb cyclone — come on the heels of the second-warmest global year on record since the 1800s.

A new report, pointing to signs of climate change such as the thawing of Arctic ice and intensifying wildfires, says the global average surface air temperature in 2017 exceeded 14.7 degrees Celsius (58.46 Fahrenheit), making last year a bit cooler than 2016, the warmest on record. But 2016 included the tail end of a strong El Niño in the tropical Pacific, and that bumped up temperatures that year, as well as in 2015, according to the report by the Copernicus Climate Change Service, a European agency.

These findings are echoed in Australia’s Bureau of Meteorology’s climate report for 2017, the country’s third-warmest year on record.

“Despite the lack of an El Nino — which is normally associated with our hottest years — 2017 was still characterized by very warm temperatures. Both day and nighttime temperatures were warmer than average . . . Seven of Australia’s ten warmest years have occurred since 2005 and Australia has experienced just one cooler than average year — 2011 — in the past decade,” according to a news release.

It snowed in one of the hottest places in the world

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF CNN)

 

It snowed in one of the hottest places in the world

Snow in the Sahara Desert near the town of Ain Sefra, Algeria

(CNN)It’s quite a time for weird weather, and it doesn’t get much weirder than snow falling in one of the hottest places in the world.

On Sunday, Ain Sefra, a desert town in Algeria known as the “Gateway to the Sahara,” experienced a substantial amount of snow for reportedly the third time in 40 years. Some reports say parts of the area got nearly 15 inches of snow, but Ain Sefra officially reported less than one inch.

It was enough to provide some otherworldly visuals from an area that routinely sees some of the hottest temperatures on earth during the summer.

Now, it’s not uncommon for the temperature across even the hottest of deserts to plunge tens of degrees Farenheit at night, meaning any unusual snow could stick around for a while. But photographers at the scene said the snow actually stayed intact for a good portion of the day.

“We were really surprised when we woke up to see snow again,” photographer Karim Bouchetata told Shutterstock. “It stayed all day on Sunday and began melting at around 5 p.m.”

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While snow is historically scant in the desert area, a similar snow phenomenon happened just last year. Before that, it had been 37 years since Ain Sefra’s last snowfall.
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