Atacama desert, the driest place on Earth, covered with unusual late August snow

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‘Driest place on Earth, Chile’s Atacama Desert gets rare snow event end of August 2021. Picture via Twitter

The Atacama desert in Chile is generally regarded as the ‘driest place on earth.’ Last week, however, to everyone’s surprise, parts of the desert were under deep snow.

People in the town of San Pedro de Atacama, about 750 miles from the capital, Santiago, were amazed by the spectacle.

Although it snows from time to time in the desert, snowfall this late in August is extremely rare.

Images from the area showed ice-covered vehicles and children playing in the area in 15 cm (5.9 in) of snow, a region with only a few millimeters of rain each year.

It is thought to be the heaviest snowfall in three decades and has raised fears that melting ice and rainfall could cause flooding.

Some roads had to be closed for traffic as unusual weather made its presence felt.

This does not occur yearly. Maybe a relatively important snowfall like the one today can happen every two or three years. For this time of the year, late August, is something relatively unusual because this is usually seen in June and July,” said Daniel Diaz, an official of the Northern Regional Meteorological Center. [India Times]

After this unusual snow has melted, I think we will have an extreme desert flowering phenomenon…

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  1. If I were a photographer, I would fly down there for the wildflower blooms that frequently occur after desert deluges such as these.

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