• Monday, Jan 17, 2022
  • Last Update : 03:32 am

Ultra-rare snowfall carpets Baghdad

  • Published at 09:28 pm February 11th, 2020
P12_Ultra-rare-snowfall-carpets-Baghdad-3
Iraqi boys shake snow off a tree at a park in the holy Shiite city of Karbala on February 11, 2020 AFP

Iraqis young and old said it was the first time they had ever seen snow falling in Baghdad

Residents of Baghdad rushed to have snowball fights or take photographs on Tuesday as the Iraqi capital woke carpeted in white by only its second snowfall in a century.

The last recorded snowfall in the city was in 2008, but it was a quick and mostly slushy affair - and prior to that, it had been a century since Baghdad saw any flakes. 

Iraqis young and old said it was the first time they had ever seen snow falling in Baghdad.

The city's iconic palm trees were daintily outlined in white, and the tarpaulins of the long-running anti-government protest camp in Tahrir Square in the city centre were sprinkled with snow. 

People on their way to work stopped their cars to snap pictures or break out into impromptu snowball fights. 

The people of Baghdad are more used to heat than cold.

The highest temperature recorded in the capital was a searing 51°C, a record it has neared several times in recent years.

South of the capital, snow also carpeted the Shia holy city of Karbala, which draws pilgrims from round the world to its famed shrines, the golden-domed mausoleums of Abbas and Imam Hussein.

Snowfall is more common in northern Iraq, where snow covered the war-battered city of Mosul, but in the centre and south there is rarely enough precipitation.

Iraq has been hit by a succession of extreme weather events in recent years.

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