07/22/2011 11:22 am ET | Updated Sep 21, 2011

Atacama Desert Snow Captured By NASA Satellite (PHOTOS)

Extreme weather is in the air.

The following satellite photo shows South America's Atacama Desert region -- known as one of the driest places on Earth -- covered in 32 inches of snowfall.

NASA’s Terra satellite collected images of the rare winter storm, which began on July 3 and lasted several days.

According to TreeHugger, the snowfall is the largest to hit the region in roughly 50 years and, not surprisingly, locals aren't exactly accustomed to bundling up for flurries. NASA reports that the average precipitation for the area is one to three millimeters per year.

Below we have two images taken by the satellite. The first shows the region from a natural perspective, while the second shot uses infrared light techniques to distinguish between the snow, shown in dark red, and clouds, seen as lighter shades of orange and white.