Snow in the Sahara desert has been a rare phenomenon, yet the Algerian town of Ain Sefra experienced on Tuesday its second snowfall of this winter. Although statistically, still a rare occurrence, the overall rate of snowfall appears to be picking up drastically.
Ain Safra is a small town on the edge of one of the largest and hottest deserts in the world, earning it the moniker of the “Gateway to the Desert.” It snowed 40 years ago, but the locals were able to pack away their snow shovels in storage since it did not snow again up until two years ago.
In light of the 37-year hiatus from snow ending only two years ago, last month’s snowfall was a bit unanticipated. Of course, a second snowfall in the same winter was even more unforeseen, yet locals woke up to see the desert sands coated again in approximately half a foot of snow.
Such rare weather patterns may very well be a sign of the Messianic era as the prophet Isaiah speaks repeatedly of deserts blooming in his description of the end of days.
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