A rare and spectacular sight is occurring in Southern Morocco right now (early February 2018), with snow falling on even the driest, lowland regions. As far south as Zagora (known as the gateway to the Sahara), residents are facing the first recorded snowfall in 50 years. Following decades of hot & dry weather, the region is at a standstill with 2 to 3 inches of snow settling on the ground.
The snow in Zagora has arrived at a time when children have a national holiday, so it has been a new and exciting experience for many of the young residents who might have never seen snow before in their lives. It is a warming sight to behold as they play with sledges in the street!
On the other hand, the homes just aren’t built for such weather conditions; meaning that the nights are dangerously cold for those living in Zagora. The palm trees are also suffering, and although it is told that many species of palm trees can survive even sub-zero temperatures; the palm trees of the Sahara Desert are not accustomed to such a climate.
This snow fall isn’t unique to Zagora. In fact; these freak snow storms have been affecting the Sahara and low lands of Morocco throughout January. The first snow in the Sahara region was recorded at the beginning of the year on the Algerian border, followed closely by Ouarzazate and Taroudant receiving their first recorded snow in 30 years. The aesthetic of these lush palmeries and dry plains covered with the white snow is really quite incredible. It is reported that the cause of this snow fall is a mass of air blowing in from Northern Europe.
Weather reports show that the current forecasted temperatures are ranging between -04 and 1°C, with a mazimum of 9°C in Ouarzazate. Despite the freezing temperatures and the damage to crops; locals are still counting their blessings and finding ways to enjoy this new climate!
If you plan on visiting Marrakech, now might be the perfect time to make an excursion to the South. You can reach Ouarzazate from Marrakech, in just 4 hours – perfect for an overnight excursion. If you’re feeling more adventurous, then why not try a Sahara desert road trip? But be quick, this weather will not last long and before you know it the snow will have melted away!
Contact us to book your Marrakech holiday today.