Cairo Gets First Snow in 100+ Years

Storm brings winter to much of Middle East

By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff

Posted Dec 13, 2013 1:04 PM CST

(Newser) – Cairo saw a rare and wonderful sight today: Snow. Much of the Middle East has been blanketed by the white stuff in recent days thanks to a region-wide cold snap and winter storm. According to local news reports, Cairo hasn't gotten snow in more than a century, the LA Times reports. Talk of the weather lit up social media—you can see a nice collection of tweeted images at the Huffington Post—with some joking that it was the mystical work of Gen. Abdel Fattah Sisi. "It's the first time in my life that I have seen it like this," one resident told the AFP.

But the snow is causing major problems elsewhere in the region. Syrian refugee camps in Lebanon and Jordan are being hammered by weather they weren't designed to withstand, sending agencies rushing to distribute blankets and tarps, al-Jazeera reports. Jerusalem, meanwhile, has been hit with three feet of snow, knocking out power and closing roads—and officials today warned that the worst was yet to come. "We are expecting a second storm triple the size of the one we've seen now," one municipality spokesman said, according to the Jerusalem Post.

Western Wall and the Dome of the Rock, some of the holiest sites for for Jews and Muslims, are covered in snow in Jerusalem, Dec. 13, 2013.
Western Wall and the Dome of the Rock, some of the holiest sites for for Jews and Muslims, are covered in snow in Jerusalem, Dec. 13, 2013.   (AP Photo/Dusan Vranic)
A Syrian youth draws a heart in the snow on a car in Damascus, Syria, Dec. 13, 2013 as a blustery storm, dubbed Alexa, brought gusty winds, torrential rains and heavy snowfall to the Middle East.
A Syrian youth draws a heart in the snow on a car in Damascus, Syria, Dec. 13, 2013 as a blustery storm, dubbed Alexa, brought gusty winds, torrential rains and heavy snowfall to the Middle East.   (AP Photo)
People play in the snow in Damascus, Syria, Friday, Dec. 13, 2013 as a blustery storm, dubbed Alexa, brought gusty winds, torrential rains and heavy snowfall to the Middle East.
People play in the snow in Damascus, Syria, Friday, Dec. 13, 2013 as a blustery storm, dubbed Alexa, brought gusty winds, torrential rains and heavy snowfall to the Middle East.   (AP Photo)
Palestinians play with the snow in the West Bank village of Seelat Al-Daher near Jenin city, Friday, Dec. 13, 2013.
Palestinians play with the snow in the West Bank village of Seelat Al-Daher near Jenin city, Friday, Dec. 13, 2013.   (AP Photo/Mohammed Ballas)
A Palestinian girl makes a snowman in the West Bank village of Seelat Al-Daher near Jenin city, Friday, Dec. 13, 2013.
A Palestinian girl makes a snowman in the West Bank village of Seelat Al-Daher near Jenin city, Friday, Dec. 13, 2013.   (AP Photo/Mohammed Ballas)
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