In 1979, a similar snowstorm lasted about 30 minutes. The winter storms in Algeria, they are short.
The area has a searingly hot average high temperature of 100 degrees in the summer. But like many deserts, it gets kind of chilly in the winter, especially at night. The average December high temperature is only about 50, with average lows in the upper 30s.
Interestingly, the cold air that enabled this snow to fall came from the same cold-air outbreak we saw in the eastern United States in late December. Simply because of winds that blow from west to east, the air over the United States eventually winds up in northern Africa.
Even so, it’s strange to see a winter weather warning for Algeria posted on Facebook. Meteo Algerie was predicting about four to six inches of snow in the provinces of Naama and El Bayadh.
The Algerian weather service called it “special.”