Cairo has been transformed into a winter wonderland after a "historic" storm in the Middle East brought a rare treat to Egypt's capital Friday: a blanket of powdery, white snow.
Due to Cairo's low rate of precipitation and typically above-freezing winter temperatures, snow is an exceptionally unusual weather phenomenon for the North African city. So unusual, in fact, that the Los Angeles Times, citing local news reports, writes that the last recorded snowfall in Cairo was more than 100 years ago.
Ali Abdelazim, an official at the city's meteorological centre, confirmed to the Agence France-Presse this is the "first time in very many years" that snow has fallen in the Cairo area.
Excited Egytians took to social media Friday to share photographs of the unusual meteorological event.
يا جماعة الدنيا نزلت تلللللللللج والدنيا لونها ابيض!!!! pic.twitter.com/c516QItkCl
— Maha Salem (@MihooSalem) December 13, 2013
— Koert Debeuf (@koertdebeuf) December 13, 2013
— Al Arabiya English (@AlArabiya_Eng) December 13, 2013
Friend posted this crazy pic of the snow in a rich suburb of Cairo. Hard to explain to full craziness of this. pic.twitter.com/WUkO7ttTwj
— Tom Gara (@tomgara) December 13, 2013
More Egyptian snow structures. It's our first ever snow in Cairo fyi =) pic.twitter.com/vlkYIeyFYs
— Pakinam and Voice (@pakinamamer) December 13, 2013
— EgyptTeam (@EgyptTeam) December 13, 2013
Though the snow brought delight to many Cairo residents, the winter storm -- dubbed "Alexa" -- proved to be bad news for some neighbors.
Alexa brought more misery to thousands of Syrian refugees living in the region, many of whom were unprepared for the cold, brutal conditions.
In Israel, where the storm reportedly brought the heaviest December snowfall since 1953, roads had to be closed and thousands were left without power from the inclement weather.