Snow appeared in two deserts this week, creating scenes the Biblically minded noted with excitement.
Saudi Arabia Snowed In
Last Sunday, snow and freezing temperatures hit southwest Saudi Arabia’s Asir Province for the first time in 50 years, according to local media, with temperatures dropping below -2 °C (28.4 °F).
#WATCH: Parts of #SaudiArabia were blanketed by snow on Friday, especially in the northwestern regions such as the Dahr Mountains (Video: @alekhbariyatv)https://t.co/HCQWErHoR1 pic.twitter.com/g2pN8V7GRp
— Arab News (@arabnews) January 10, 2020
Snow in the Sahara Fourth Year in a Row
Snow also hit the Algerian town of Ain Sefra known as the Gateway to the Sahara last Wednesday. This is the fourth winter in a row that reports of snow or ice were given in this region. Before that, it had been 37 years since Ain Sefra’s last snowfall. Although statistically, still a rare occurrence, the overall rate of snowfall appears to be picking up drastically.
The Sahara is one of the hottest places on the planet but strangely, it snowed there last year as well. The Sahara is the largest and hottest desert in the world, covering 3.5 million square miles, an area approximately the size of the continental US. In 1922, a temperature of 136° Fahrenheit, the highest land surface temperature ever recorded, was set in the Sahara at El Azizia, Libya.
Beijing Colder Than North Pole
Despite cries of “global warming”, this winter stands testimony to cold weather still maintaining a strong presence in the world. The Watchers, a natural phenomenon website, reported several regions in which this winter was dramatically less than warm. While the world was busy watching political events unfold, Delhi India experienced its coldest weather in 119 years, Karachi Pakistan its coldest in ten years, Hong Kong its coldest since 1988, Miami its coldest in ten years, and Spain experienced its coldest winter on record as well as its worst snowstorm since 1971. Residents of the United Arab Emirates reported the coldest winter in memory. Exceptionally heavy snowstorms hit Sweden, Finland, and the Pacific Northwest this week. And despite having very hot summers, Britain and Scotland are also experiencing the coldest winter on record. Beijing experienced its coldest winter on record with one day recording -13 Celsius, while at the same time the North Pole was a balmy -3.
The Washington Post reported a split in the polar vortex which could signal an increased potential for paralyzing snowstorms and punishing blasts of Arctic air for northern Europe and the US.
Isaiah’s Vision/Snow Covering Sin
The arid desert shall be glad, The wilderness shall rejoice And shall blossom like a rose. Isaiah 35:1
I am about to do something new; Even now it shall come to pass, Suddenly you shall perceive it: I will make a road through the wilderness And rivers in the desert. Isaiah 43:19
The prophet also understands snow to be a fortuitous omen that signifies God’s forgiveness.
“Come, let us reach an understanding, —says Hashem. Be your sins like crimson, They can turn snow-white; Be they red as dyed wool, They can become like fleece.” Isaiah 1:18