Johannesburg, South Africa was treated to a rare dusting of snow this week – the city’s first in more than 10 years.
The unexpected winter wonderland was part of a patch of snow that covered various provinces through the weekend into Monday, South Africa’s Times newspaper reported.
Photos from around the city show delighted residents gallivanting among the snowflakes, which last coated the area in August 2012.
“Eleven years down the line, it’s exciting that we have snow,” local Jennifer Banda said.
Others on social media referred to the weather as “pure magic,” The Guardian reported.
The snow was caused by an uptick in humidity, cold temperatures, and wind, experts said – while cautioning that it was unlikely to last very long.
“It happens once every 10 years or so. We’re not an area that has a lot of snowfall and that’s partly because in winter we have dry conditions,” University of Witwatersrand professor of physical geography Jennifer Fitchett told the Times.
“We’ve got a strong, high pressure cell which is why we don’t have any or very little rain in winter months. And so don’t have much moisture in the air.”
Other parts of the southern hemisphere nation get irregular snow from June through August.
But snow falls on Johannesburg only about once every five years, on average, University of the Witwatersrand climatology professor Francois Engelbrecht told the Daily Maverick.
Another expert, South African Weather Service (SAWS) meteorologist Wayne Venter, reassured the outlet that the sudden dusting was likely not due to climate change.
For most of the city’s children, Monday was their first time seeing and playing in snow.
Other residents, however, were frustrated by the change in weather.
“I’m trying to warm the engine so that it can start … otherwise I will kick the bike all day,” delivery driver Chenjerai Murape complained of his motorbike.
The SAWS had also issued cold snap warnings in the Gauteng province, which includes Johannesburg and the capital, Pretoria.
With Post wires