The version of Africa shown on most international news broadcasts, brochures, and social media often feature sunny weather, leaving many asking: Does African Get Snow?
Although the continent features large deserts and savanna grassland areas, it still offers a surprising diversity in terms of cultures, languages, and even climate. So, back to the question: Does Africa Get Snow? Yes, it does. However, this snow is experienced differently by different regions. Let’s dive into the places in Africa that actually receive snow.
Some incidents of snow on the continent were so rare they even caught the local population off-guard. For example, in 1981, the South African city of Johannesburg recorded up to 1 meter of snow in certain areas.
While in 2013, the residents of Cairo, Egypt, were surprised by an unexpected snowstorm, the first in over 100 years.
The Algerian town of Aïn Séfra, often referred to as the ‘gateway to the dessert,’ received snow in December 2016. Although an official record of the incident doesn’t exist, eyewitnesses confirmed the snowfall. Before this time, the last snowfall has been February 1979.
For citings are rare as those, the snow falls unexpectedly and disappears in much the same manner. However, some parts of Africa receive regular snow, as shown below.
Located in the southern area of Africa, South Africa is often humid, cold, or snowy, owing to the country’s position on the equatorial plane. Several places within the country experience snowfall, although located at high altitudes.
This is the largest city in South Africa and occasionally receives snow. It can get pretty chilly here because the city is located at a high altitude- an elevation of roughly 1700 meters right on the Highveld plateau and the winter temperatures can fall to 2°C in June and July.
However, snow is not a typical sight in Johannesburg and was last seen in 2007 when the city got roughly four inches of snow.
Located in the Drakensburg Mountains found in the Eastern Cape of South Africa, the Drakensburg park is a UNESCO World Heritage Site shared between Lesotho and South Africa. It is located around the eastern part of the Great Escarpment, close to the central South African plateau.
The park’s highest altitude falls between 6,562ft and 11,424 ft (2000 to 3500 meters) and receives regular snowfall throughout the year.
Located within the park is Rhodes, a tiny village famously known for its annual winter Rhodes Trail Run. The contestants must run for 9 hours through the steep snow-covered terrain for roughly 31 miles in the competition.
At specific points, the temperatures drop as low as -10 degrees Celsius.
This 3,558 ft flat-topped mountain overlooks Cape Town and receives snow at the Front Table and Devil’s Peak every couple of years. The last recorded snowfall at Table Mountain was in September 2013.
This town is located in the Western Cape and has about 50,000 residents. The town receives snow annually owing to its high altitude. A popular attraction is also the Cederberg Wilderness Center, which offers camps and small cottages for those who’d like to experience the beauty of the snow.
This small town is located in the western Roggeveld Mountains in the Northern Cape. The town is popularly known for sheep farming, regular winter snowfall, and the nearby South African Astronomical Observatory.
Tiffindell Ski Resort
This gorgeous resort is located on Mountain Ben Macdhui at an elevated height of 9,846 ft. It is the best ski resort in the country and receives only some natural snowfall yearly. To increase the amount of snow, the resort now uses snow-making machines to provide enough snow for its popular skiing and snowboarding activities.
Mount Kilimanjaro’s highest peak has snow all year round. This is Africa’s tallest mountain and therefore stands to reason that it would be snow-capped. The temperature ranges between -15 and -29 ° C during the coolest periods and averages 27 degrees Celcius during the summer.
Although it can snow any time of the year, the heaviest is during the region’s rainy season from March to May and November to December.
The climate in Ifrane consists of short, dry, and warm summers followed by cold, long, and snowy winters. Temperatures range between 23°F and
90°F throughout the year because the place is located in the middle of the Atlas Mountains, which stand at an altitude of 1665 meters.
One of the most beautiful things about Morocco is that you can enjoy the desert, beach, and even snow views within a single day. Ifran was originally recognized as a mountain spa resort and is commonly known as “little Moroccan Switzerland” owing to its European aesthetic.
This tiny mountainous country lies at the border of South Africa. It is the only known country in the world that completely lies above a thousand meters, contributing to the country’s cold climate. Temperatures typically range from -18°C (0°F) to 28°C (82°F).
The summertime in Lesotho coincides with the country’s rainy season and runs from October to April. On the other hand, the winter period is from June to August, and temperatures typically range between 0 ° C and 19 ° C (61 ° F). Although rare, there is a possibility to witness snow in Maseru, Lesotho’s capital.
For a country located along the equator, it’s difficult to imagine snow falling in the region. This is why snow in Kenya is only on the peak of Mount Kenya, the second-highest mountain in Africa after Kilimanjaro. The highest peak is Batian, at the height of 17,057 feet.
Snow is common on the mountain, above 4500 feet, between March and December. For the rest of the year, the mountain receives rain almost daily.
This country is known for many things, but snow isn’t one of them. However, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that you can find snow on the peaks of the Rwenzori mountains. Rwenzori mountain is located along the border of the Democratic Republic of Congo and Uganda. Temperatures range from 20 °C to -5°C or even lower.
Owing to the temperatures, the mountain has several glaciers, with its highest peak standing at 5,109 meters, and has permanent snow cover.
In conclusion, it does snow in Africa, but one must know where to go to catch the rare sight. Whether visiting Tanzania, South Africa, or Uganda, the general rule is that the higher you go, the colder it gets.
Does it Snow in Africa?
Yes, it snows in Africa, but rarely and only in certain places. The continent has a mostly tropical climate due to its proximity to the equator and is generally too warm for snowfall. However, some areas of high elevation on certain mountains do experience occasional snowfall, such as Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania and Atlas Mountains in Morocco. Additionally, some areas may see frost or other forms of ice precipitation during winter months if temperatures are low enough.
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