Winter storm hits Iraqi capital, first snow since 2008

A protester walks tosses a snowball during anti-government protests, in Tahrir Square, Baghdad, Iraq, Tuesday, Feb.11, 2020. Snow fell across the Iraqi capital Baghdad for the first time in a decade on Tuesday as morning temperatures uncharacteristically hovered around freezing.

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A protester walks tosses a snowball during anti-government protests, in Tahrir Square, Baghdad, Iraq, Tuesday, Feb.11, 2020. Snow fell across the Iraqi capital Baghdad for the first time in a decade on Tuesday as morning temperatures uncharacteristically hovered around freezing.
  • Iraqis young and old said it was the first time they had ever seen snow falling in Baghdad.
  • More snow was still possible, forecasters said, as the cold wave was not quite over yet.
  • Tuesday’s snow was the first that stuck since 1914.

A rare winter storm coated Baghdad in snow Tuesday morning, only the second time snow fell in the Iraqi capital in the past century.

While snow is common in the mountainous northern region of Iraq, it’s very rare in Baghdad.

The last time the city saw snow was in 2008. However, the snow that fell in 2008 was a quick, slushy snow, so Tuesday’s snow was the first that stuck since 1914. 

It was a rare moment of respite for citydwellers, during which residents took selfies and children played in parks, lobbing snowballs before the fluffy flakes disappeared and the white cover dissolved into grey puddles.

Cold temperatures are unusual in Baghdad, as winter is typically on the mild side. The average high temperature in the city is 66 degrees in February, with an average low of 42, according to the World Meteorological Organization. 

In the summer, searing heat is what Baghdad is known for, as the city’s average daily high temperature is more than 100 degrees from June through August. 

Iraqis young and old said it was the first time they had ever seen snow falling in Baghdad, according to Agence France-Presse.

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